On January 7, 2021, we published a communiqué regarding the new measures in effect to control the community spread of COVID-19 in Québec, which included the implementation of a province-wide curfew. Read our previous communiqué.
As of January 9, 2021, the Québec population has been subject to a curfew lasting from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. As mentioned in our last communiqué, violators of this curfew may be subject to fines ranging from $1,000.00 to $6,000.00, unless they fall within one of the exceptions.
On January 8th, the Government of Québec issued Order in Council number 2-2021, which clarifies and implements the curfew and other measures announced in the January 6th press conference. In particular, the Order in Council provides that "between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., no person may be outside the person's residence or its equivalent, or its grounds, unless the person establishes that he or she is outside" for one of the following reasons:
- to perform employment work or provide professional services required to continue the activities or services that are not suspended;
- to obtain, in a pharmacy, pharmaceutical, hygiene or health products, or a professional service;
- to receive educational services of an institution providing general adult education and vocational training or the educational services of a university, a college, a private educational institution providing college-level educational service or any other institution providing college-level or university educational services;
- to obtain care or services required by the person's state of health;
- to give blood or other human biological materials to Héma-Québec;
- to provide assistance to a person in need, to provide a service or support for safety or security purposes, to see to the care of a child or vulnerable person, to visit a person at the end of life, or for an emergency;
- to comply with a court judgment or a summons to appear before a court, or to allow the exercise of custody or parental access rights;
- to take a bus providing interregional or interprovincial service, a train or a plane or, at the end of that trip, to continue on to destination;
- to obtain, at a service station, a product or service required for the proper functioning of a vehicle, or food products other than alcoholic beverages, but only in connection with one of the above-mentioned exceptions;
- for the needs of the person's dog, within a maximum of one-kilometer radius from the person's residence or its equivalent; or
- to accompany a person requiring assistance in a situation authorized as described above.
As we mentioned in our previous communiqué, we strongly recommend that employers provide their employees who must work or travel for work during the hours of the curfew with a document justifying their movements. To that end, the government has made a form available. We also recommend employers provide any employees who will be performing work at the employer's workplace with a document indicating that their presence at work is required and that the employer's activities are not suspended by any of the recent Orders in Council.
These documents are essential as they serve to reassure and properly equip your employees in the event of police intervention and will reduce any delays caused by same.
Do not hesitate to contact a member of our Montreal Labour and Employment Law team to assist and guide you through these new measures and their effect on your business.
Originally Published by Miller Thomson, January 2021
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.