How Quebec’s new rule on mandatory masks works

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As of today, masks are mandatory in interior public spaces across the province. The new measure comes while Quebec is witnessing a slow but steady increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.”It is better to wear a mask than to be confined to the house”, declared the Prime Minister François Legault in made the announcement last Monday.

“It’s not fun to wear a mask, but it’s essential. ”

The regulations apply to everyone 12 years of age and older, although Legault said that even children as young as two years old could be encouraged to wear a mask – either a certified or hand-made medical mask, to condition that it covers the nose and mouth.

Here are the answers to some of your questions about exactly when the rules apply and how they will be applied.

Can I wear a face shield instead?

No. The Government of Quebec says that a face shield cannot be worn in place of a mask or a cloth covering the face in places where they are required.

Should I wear a mask in stores or in offices?

The Quebec government has downloadable posters in French and English on its public health website, as well as printable fact sheets in 21 other languages. (Government of Quebec)

Employees of office buildings should wear masks in all areas where physical distance is not possible, including common areas such as hallways and elevators.

Once at your workstation, you can remove your mask.

You should wear a mask in all stores that are at least partially closed.

People working in customer service are encouraged to wear a mask with a transparent window in the mouth, to facilitate communication with people who are deaf or have an intellectual disability.

And in bars or restaurants?

Drinking a pint while wearing a mask seems like an almost impossible task. But that’s exactly what the Quebec government wants you to do in closed bars and restaurants, if you move around and can’t stand two meters from others.

If you are seated and stay put, you can remove your mask. The mandatory mask rule does not apply to open terraces, but the Department of Health still strongly recommends that people wear a mask when physical distance is not possible.

Will students have to wear masks at school?

The Quebec government hopes that students will return to class this fall. Children 12 and older must wear a mask when moving around the classroom and in the hallways. If they are seated and respect the rules of physical distance, they can remove their mask. Children under 12 should not wear a mask.

Do I have to wear a mask at my place of worship?

A mask should be worn at all times in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples, particularly because of the danger of the spread of the coronavirus by song, which often accompanies a religious service.

What about working out in a gym?

Gym members train at the Delta Train Liberty Village in Toronto on July 10. In Quebec, starting on Saturday, masks must not be worn during training, but must be lit in the locker rooms, hallways and all common areas. (Chris Young / The Canadian Press)

If you maintain a distance of two meters from others, you don’t need to wear a mask while you work. But masks are mandatory in hallways, bathrooms, locker rooms and other common areas.

If you participate in sports or indoor activities, such as dancing or martial arts, you should always obey the physical distance rules. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended during low intensity activities. However, a mask is not recommended when practicing moderate or high intensity activity.

Are masks mandatory in museums and art galleries?

Masks are mandatory at all times in museums and art galleries.

A woman wears a face mask during her visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art on June 24. Masks are now mandatory at all times in Quebec galleries and museums. (Graham Hughes / Canadian Press)

What about public transport?

Masks have been mandatory on public transport in Montreal since July 13. Montreal’s transit company STM says inspectors are handing out reusable masks and passengers without one can also go to a ticket office to request a mask.

Who is supposed to apply these rules?

Business owners are responsible for enforcing the new regulations in their stores, restaurants, offices and leisure centers. If they do not comply, they risk fines of $ 400 to $ 6,000.

The police will impose these fines and the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité au travail du Québec, the CNESST, will deploy more than 100 inspectors in all regions of Quebec to visit bars and restaurants and ensure that the directives in force. of health are respected.

What happens if you don’t comply?

Beginning August 1, people who refuse to wear a mask could also be fined.

Are there any exemptions?

People with medical problems such as serious cardio-respiratory problems will be exempt, as will children under 12. Those who cannot remove their mask without the help of another person are also exempt.

No medical certificate will be required – in a statement to CBC, the health ministry said it “trusted people’s judgment.”

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