Quebec now under 30-day COVID curfew

Police can issue tickets from $1,000 – $6,000, says Public Security Minister

Police in Montreal and Laval say they are ready to enforce new regulations imposed by the province for the duration of the 30-day COVID-19 curfew which started last Saturday night.

In Montreal, police officials said they will be using a preventive and adapted approach to deal with those considered more vulnerable – including the homeless.

Curfew in force

In Laval, the SPL issued a statement on their Twitter feed last weekend, advising the public of the coming into force of the curfew and the penalties to be imposed on those who don’t respect it.

Quebec’s COVID-19 curfew won’t change things much for people already respecting public health guidelines, but should be a deterrent to those who aren’t, Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said during a webcast news conference last week announcing the curfew.

Guilbault said she was counting on police officers across the province to “act diligently” and use their judgment in enforcing the measures. She said the government’s goal isn’t to make people’s lives more difficult, but instead to reign in the minority of Quebecers who are not yet following the rules.

Necessary measures

The curfew is in effect between 8 pm and 5 am daily until Feb. 8. Among other things, Guilbault said people with front or rear yards will be allowed to go outside on their property after 8 p.m. Dog owners are also allowed to walk the family pet after curfew, as long a it is within a one-kilometre radius of home.

Those who are out past curfew for work reasons need to have proof from their employer, and it could be in the form of a signed letter. People will also be allowed to be out for charitable or humanitarian reasons as well as emergencies.

What are the exceptions?

Examples of exceptions given by Guilbault included a person going to the pharmacy for medication, someone going to the hospital, or a parent driving a teenager to a place of employment. Guilbault said it will be up to the police to decide how to best enforce the curfew and where to deploy resources when deemed necessary.

Here is a list of allowed exceptions:

  • A person whose presence is required at the person’s place of work or who is transporting goods needed for the ongoing activities of the person’s enterprise;
  • A person who is going to a pharmacy to obtain medication or pharmaceutical, hygienic or sanitary products;
  • A person who must go to or return from a hospital, a clinic, or a dentist’s or optometrist’s office;
  • A person who must visit a sick or injured parent;
  • A student who must participate in a face-to-face evening class or go to a laboratory in a recognized school;
  • A parent who must accompany his or her children to the home of the other parent who has custody of them;
  • A person who is going to take an inter-regional or inter-provincial bus, a train or a plane for final travel to the person’s destination;
  • A person who must go out so that his dog can do its business, within a radius of no more than one kilometre from the person’s place of residence or temporary residence;
  • A person who must travel in order to comply with a court judgment, to respond to a summons to appear before a court, or to exercise custody or access rights as a parent;
  • A person who must accompany to a medical appointment another person who is unable to drive;
  • A parent who must accompany a sick child to the hospital;
  • A person travelling to give blood under the supervision of Héma-Québec;
  • A parent who must accompany an adolescent to his or her work.

Continued compliance

According to the provincial government, police officers will continue to ensure compliance with health measures and can intervene when individuals are outside their homes during curfew hours.

Offenders are liable to fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 if they are unable to adequately justify why they are outside the home. Young people 14 years of age and over are subject to a $500 fine.

To enable individuals who are travelling during the curfew because of their work to readily demonstrate that such travel is legitimate, employers are asked to complete the form “Attestation de l’employeur – Déplacement durant le couvre-feu décrété par le gouvernement du Québec,” available on the Qué website.