On June 8, Québec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne, and the Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, announced, together with the strategic medical advisor from the Directorate General of Public Health, Dr. Richard Massé, the resumption of activities in the restaurant sector from June 15 outside the Metropolitan Community of Montreal, the regional county municipality of Joliette and of the city of L’Épiphanie. In those latter territories, activities may resume from June 22.

Restaurateurs will be able to open dining rooms and terraces. These places must be set up in such a way as to promote the maintenance of a physical distance of two meters between customers, unless they are occupants of the same private residence or a physical barrier that limits contagion does not separate them.

Customers will not be able to serve themselves directly in a buffet, cutlery or at other self-service food counters (eg: salad bar, bread bar).  In shopping centers food courts may be used by customers as long as they have been outfitted in accordance with the conditions laid down by public health authorities.

The Public Health Department has defined the conditions relating to client protection. The workplace safety and standards agency (CNESST), has produced tools to support the restaurant sector and the health and safety of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurant associations, restaurant chains and chef-owners have collaborated to establish the guidelines for a safe reopening for employees and customers.

In addition, during the summer, the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ) will promote flexibility so that restaurant owners can modify or enlarge the places they use or obtain authorization to operate. temporarily, with the agreement of their municipality, a liquor license on a terrace, in the context of COVID-19.

These relaxations are in addition to the regulatory reductions presented last Thursday by the Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault. These reductions, which will come into force if Bill 61 is adopted by the National Assembly, respond to long-standing requests from restaurateurs. They will make it possible to offer service more suited to customer requests.