The three-week provincial lock-down announced yesterday came into effect across the province today. Due to the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic, all business activity in Quebec that’s not deemed an essential service is suspended until April 13. As Premier François Legault said in this afternoon’s press conference:
“All those in Quebec who do not work in an essential service must stay home, but they can go out first to go get food, to help out people who are 70 years old and older, to be able to get food for them. It is also possible to go out for a walk. It is actually good for your health, for your mental health. You just have to remain two metres away from other people…six feet.”
The province is also asking everyone working in essential services to “comply as far as possible with the principles of social distancing.” The following is a complete list of services and businesses that can continue to operate in Quebec during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Priority health care services
Priority health care services, including:
- all professions in the health and social services network;
- emergency pre-hospitalization services (ambulance attendants and dispatchers);
- private professional resource offices (health network);
- dentists (emergency consultations);
- optometry (emergency services);
- intermediate resources and private seniors’ homes;
- homecare services for seniors, people with disabilities and vulnerable individuals;
- specialized shelter services (conjugal violence, homelessness, drug addiction, and so on);
- community based family organisations;
- 811 and 911 call centre staff;
- Transplant Québec;
- the Red Cross;
- the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ);
- the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ);
- the production, procurement and distribution of medications, vaccines and pharmaceutical goods and medical equipment, including laboratories and research centres;
- animal shelters.
Public security services
Public security services, including:
- police services, including municipal and Sûreté du Québec emergency call dispatching;
- fire departments;
- correctional services;
- special constables;
- security agencies;
- the Ministère de la Sécurité publique (civil protection and coroners);
- forest firefighters and all professionals who support civil protection operations;
- communications services;
- enterprises associated with environmental emergencies.
Priority government services
Priority government services:
- Gouvernement du Québec departments and bodies;
- childcare workers and emergency childcare service support staff;
- online higher education;
- suppliers of goods and services for disadvantage people;
- food inspection and safety;
- garbage collection and residual materials management;
- government air services;
- suicide prevention centres;
- assistance services for the victims of conjugal violence;
- staff that the municipalities deem essential (administration, public works, and so on);
- food banks;
- courts of law and administrative tribunals in cases that they deem urgent;
- legal services.
Maintenance and operation of strategic infrastructure
Maintenance and operation of strategic infrastructure, including:
- the production, procurement, transmission and distribution of energy (hydroelectricity, fossil energies, wind power, wood pellets);
- the maintenance in good operating condition of essential public infrastructure such as bridges, municipal buildings, and so on;
- construction, maintenance and the maintenance of essential activities related to public and private infrastructure that may pose a threat to public health and safety (private dams, the management of hazardous and radioactive materials, and so on);
- health services and supply chain, for example, a water treatment plant;
- computer resources (security, maintenance, urgent needs related to the situation);
- data centres.
Priority manufacturing activities
Priority manufacturing activities, including:
- food production, such as farming enterprises, food processing, beverages, slaughterhouses, market garden production;
- the production of inputs necessary for priority sectors;
- the pulp and paper sector;
- the manufacture of medical instruments;
- the manufacture of chemical products;
- the manufacture of health products;
- the manufacture of microelectronics components;
- industrial complexes, especially the aluminum sector, and mining complexes must reduce to a minimum their activities;
- manufacture and maintenance for the defence sector.
Priority stores, including:
- grocery stores and other food stores;
- convenience stores;
- megastores outside shopping centres that offer grocery, drugstore or hardware services;
- products for farms such as mechanical equipment, fertilizer and so on;
- the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC);
- funeral homes, crematoria and cemeteries;
- restaurants (takeout counters or delivery only);
- drycleaners and laundromats;
- medical and orthopaedic supply stores;
- pet food and supplies stores;
- work equipment (safety and protection).
Media and telecommunications
Media and telecommunications:
- telecommunications (network and equipment);
- cable operators;
- printers (solely for printing newspapers);
- national media;
- local media.
Banking and financial services
Banking and financial services, including:
- financial services (financial institutions, ATMs and other payment methods);
- insurance services (telephone service);
- payroll services;
- accounting services;
- services related to financial markets;
- services related to financial markets and stock markets.
- construction firms for emergency dispatching or security purposes;
- electricians, plumbers and other trades for emergency services;
- rental equipment.
Building maintenance services
Building maintenance services, including:
- janitorial work;
- building-maintenance firms (elevators, ventilation, alarms, and so on).
Priority transportation and logistics services
Priority transportation and logistics services:
- mass transit and passenger transportation;
- ports and airports;
- locomotive and aircraft maintenance services and essential aeronautical services (air transport);
- procurement and distribution of foodstuffs, grocery stores and convenience stores;
- transportation, warehousing and distribution of essential goods;
- snow removal and maintenance of functional road links;
- service stations and mechanical repair of motor vehicles, trucks and specialized equipment for industries deemed essential and roadside assitance;
- taxis, paratransit;
- postal services, message handling and parcel delivery.
With the Montreal police patroling the streets ready to give out $1,000 fines to individuals for disobeying rules against gathering, the question has been raised how the lock-down on businesses will be enforced. While Ontario Premier Doug Ford just announced, “We will not hesitate to shut down workplaces as needed,” Legault said that in Quebec, “We’re counting on people’s good will.” ■
For more information about the designation of a priority business or essential service in Quebec, call 1-855-477-0777 (toll free). See the Quebec health website for more information about COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
Please visit our News section for more updates on COVID-19 / Coronavirus in Montreal.
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