Public health authorities in Québec have agreed on new rules surrounding outdoor gatherings.

On Wednesday, Deputy Premier of Quebec, and Minister of Public Security Geneviève Guilbault, announced that as of Friday, May 22, Quebecers will be able to gather outside with a maximum of ten people from three households.

A minimum distance of two metres must be maintained between those who do not come from the same household. Wearing a mask or face covering is strongly recommended.

It will now be possible to invite two families of friends to a barbecue in a backyard or let children from three different families play together in the alley, if all respect the physical distance from two meters. In all cases, a total grouping of a maximum of ten people will be tolerated outside.

For the moment, only outside gatherings are tolerated since the risks of contagion are lower.  Indoor gatherings are still prohibited.

Guilbault requested the cooperation of Quebecers and said she is aware that these new rules will have to be flexible and subject to good judgment by people in certain situations. A parent who must accompany a child to the bathroom, for example, can enter and leave the house the are visiting at.

The objective behind these flexibility measures, explained Geneviève Guilbault, is to find a balance between the physical and mental health of Quebecers. “For now, it will allow us to see friends again and take advantage of the good weather ahead. I think it will all do us good. But the situation remains fragile and we must remain cautious. It is a first step that we are taking today and, if we continue to curb the contagion, we will continue to progress gradually, “she said.

Guilbault also announced that public health authorities have given the green light to gradually reopen the personal service and private health care businesses in Québec. These include hair salons and dentists.

“These reopenings will be done with the implementation of specific sanitary measures to protect workers and customers,” assured Guilbault.