Premier Francois Legault announced on Thursday September 10th, that Quebecers who are found not wearing a face mask where it is mandatory will being facing a fine. Police will be handing out the fines to people who are not following the public health protocols beginning on Saturday September 12th. Last July 18th, business owners were responsible to properly enforce the government’s mask regulations and pay the fines – while individuals faced no consequences. Now the onus will be put on the person who is found without a mask on to pay. Mandatory areas include places such as public transit and indoor public spaces.
The amount of the fines will be ‘will be more than $50’ the Premier said and that ‘unfortunately, there is a small minority of people who are not following the rules… we cannot accept that a few irresponsible individuals put at risk the entire population of Quebec ‘ and he ‘finds it unacceptable’. Genevieve Guilbault, Quebec’s Deputy Premier will soon be providing the details and fines could be as high $400 plus, but that remains to be seen.
The fines will first be aimed at regions across Quebec that are classified as ‘Yellow’ under the Province’s new Covid-19 colour-coded alert system. Yellow-Level 2 indicates: “Early Warning is required as soon as transmission of the virus starts to grow. Activities maintained in compliance with basic measures and specific measures added, if necessary”. Presently, there are four regions at Level 2, including Laval, Eastern Townships, Quebec City and the Outaouais area. To date, Montreal is still considered at the lowest Level-1 (Green ‘Vigilance’). However, Dr. Mylene Drouin, Montreal’s public health director said on Wednesday that the city could soon move up to Level 2 due to the increase in cases in the past few weeks. In the meantime, Christian Dubé the province’s Health Minister said they will be ‘looking at the possibility of imposing fines for failing to follow other public health recommendations, such as physical distancing. “We’re going to be looking at what we can do… it’s a lot more difficult to intervene in a private evening than it is to intervene for example in a bar or in a restaurant,” he said.