COVID-19 Update: Curfew Imposed in Quebec

The province of Quebec is imposing a curfew for most of the province, with direct effects to food retail businesses.
January 6, 2021

As of Saturday, January 9, 2021, the province of Quebec will be entering a new COVID-19 pandemic lockdown that comes with a series of new restrictions. These new measures are expected to be in place until at least February 8, 2021. The goal is to stop the spread of COVID-19 which has caused concerning increases in case numbers as of late.

Premier François Legault has announced that most of the province will be placed under an overnight curfew which runs from 8:00 pm until 5:00 am. The curfew will apply to the whole province except the Nord-du-Quebec administrative region. Anyone caught outside of their home during those hours can face a fine of up to $6,000. There are exceptions to the curfew, such as essential workers who need to go to work, or people that need to walk their dog (as long as they are within 1 km of their home).

The closure of non-essential businesses will also be extended. Non-essential businesses include food service businesses that provide indoor dining, such as restaurants. Take-out and delivery services will continue to be permitted, as long as they abide by the curfew times.

The new measures will also have an effect on grocery stores and supermarkets, which have been able to operate during the pandemic due to their essential business status. Under the new overnight curfew, grocery stores and supermarkets must close by 7:30 pm. This is being put in place in order to allow staff and shoppers time to get home before the curfew begins. 

Premier Legault states that the curfew and additional measures are meant as “shock therapy” and hopes that it will make people realize how serious the situation is. “The last year has not been easy, we’ve fought the battle of our lives,” he says. “Unfortunately that battle isn’t over.”