Quebecers forced to wear face masks (fines up to $6k)

Quebec-Premier-wearing-a-face-mask-min

As of next Saturday July 18th face masks will be mandatory in all closed public places including restaurants for everyone over 12 years old to adorn a face mask. Shop owners and restaurant owners will be enforcing in handing out fines of $400 to $6,000 if they do not respect the law.

Shop owners and owners of businesses will have to communicate to the client that face masks are mandatory by the Quebec government in order to help stop spreading the COVID-19 virus. If a client refuses to wear the face mask the owner of the business can call the police to enforce the law further.

At today’s press briefing, Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced that as of this Saturday, wearing a face mask will be mandatory in all of the province’s public indoor spaces. It includes stores, bars, restaurants, concerts, showrooms, drug stores, dentist and doctor offices – basically all indoor places open to the public. It comes after some people that were at several bars (recently reopened in Montreal and the South Shore) as well as at crowded parties, who did not respect the Covid safety protocols – and subsequently tested positive with the virus. Their actions are now resulting in community spreading. All Quebecers will be required to wear masks, with exceptions for children under 12 years old and those with specific medical conditions such as cardiac or respiratory issues.

The Premier arrived at the conference wearing a mask, proudly saying it was made by Quebec designers. “Four months ago we asked Quebecers to stay home and it worked well, except in the CHSLD’s… here in North America we saved thousands of lives. But we are not going to change directives overnight,” he said and later added, “The Covid-19 virus is really dangerous, let’s be careful to wear a mask to stay safe… people talk about ‘freedom’ (to wear one or not), but freedom is about wearing a mask. Please, when you go into the metro or a shop, wear a mask. When we are respectful, we don’t transmit the virus to others… we hope more and more people come on board.

Fines for not wearing one will start at $400 (after a first warning) and for each offense after that, it can increase up to $6000. At first, shop owners will be held responsible for paying the fines, but as of August 1st individual fines will be issued to people who are found not wearing one.

When asked how shop and businesses will be able to enforce the rule, especially when people give them a hard time, Legault said, “We will count on shop owners that rules are respected, we need their collaboration… police can’t cover all the stores, (but) they can call the police for help.”

“Your greatest control to decrease the virus is cooperation,” Legault said, referring to the directives of two metres distancing and 10 people maximum at gatherings. “Do not have big parties with more than 10 people … we will not accept these gatherings.” More and more evidence shows that wearing masks is effective in controlling the spread of the virus. Quebec, that was hardest hit, is the first province in Canada to make masks mandatory.

Facts to date of COVID-19 in Quebec

  • 56,621 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province of Quebec
  • 5,628 confirmed deaths of COVID-19 in the province of Quebec
  • Group of 10 people or less is allowed
  • Bars will stop serving alcohol at midnight, (over 600 bars where inspected to see if they were maintaining the laws)
  • Social distancing of two metres minimum
  • Faces masks must be worn in Public Transit
  • As of July 18, 2020 face masks must be worn in all public places, stores restaurants, bars etc. ($400 to $6,000 fine if you don’t).

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