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Gradual Resumption of Business Activity in Quebec

By Nicolas Pfister, from our Insurance Law Practice Group

May 7, 2020 — A long-awaited moment has arrived, with the resumption of economic activity in certain sectors of activity considered non-essential. The Quebec Government’s policy is one of caution, and it is proposing a gradual opening plan that will be spread out over the summer. We wish to mention at the outset that this plan is subject to revision if the sanitary situation in Quebec is no longer under control.

The plan unveiled on April 28, and updated on May 7, detailed below, provides first for a gradual opening outside the Montréal metropolitan region, then for a gradual opening within the Montréal metropolitan region.

Remember that it will always be essential for workers to continue to respect health instructions to limit the risks associated with the spread of the virus. Thus, measures must be put in place in all businesses. CNESST has put online the COVID-19 Toolkit containing guides and tools for the recovery of various economic sectors. For example, in the construction sector, employers must implement various hygiene measures, plan construction work to respect social distancing and validate workers’ health daily. In addition, screening tests will be carried out on a regular basis. Finally, if the work can be performed remotely, the employee will have to continue to work from home.

The implementation of these new health measures will bring with it both economic and social challenges for businesses. Careful planning of the recovery is essential to limit the number of incidents with suppliers, customers, and employees.

Reopening plan outside the Montréal metropolitan region

May 4, 2020: retail businesses are open, provided that the businesses have a door to the outside ordinarily used by the clientele and the supplying retail businesses.

May 11, 2020: all construction industry worksites can resume their activities.

May 11, 2020: manufacturing companies in all regions of Québec can resume their activities. However, they must always throughout the day limit staff per shift on a given site to a maximum of 50 workers and 50% of the employees exceeding the limit of 50 workers.

May 25, 2020: manufacturing companies throughout Québec will be authorized to resume their operations with no restriction on the number of employees present to ensure such operations.

Reopening plan within the Montréal metropolitan region

May 11, 2020: all construction industry worksites can resume their activities.

May 11, 2020: manufacturing companies in all regions of Québec can resume their activities. However, they must always times throughout the day limit staff per shift on a given site to a maximum of 50 workers and 50% of the employees exceeding the limit of 50 workers.

May 25, 2020: retail businesses are open, provided that the businesses have a door to the outside ordinarily used by the clientele and the supplying retail businesses.

May 25, 2020: manufacturing companies throughout Québec will be authorized to resume their operations with no restriction on the number of employees present to ensure such operations.

Other businesses that are currently closed will have to wait for the new government guidelines.

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