With the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increasing in some regions of Québec, Premier François Legault announced on Thursday, September 10 that beginning on Saturday, September 12, individuals who refuse without adequate reasons to wear a mask at indoor public places could be issued tickets and fines.  The announcement was made in collaboration with public health authorities, the Ministry of Public Security, and police.

“We cannot accept that a handful of recalcitrant put the whole of Québec or a region at risk. Now is the time to crack down on the recalcitrant. Starting Saturday, individuals who willfully refuse to wear a mask in designated areas will also be subject to fines,” said Legault.

This measure will apply across Québec and at all levels of the alert and response system announced by the Minister of Health and Social Services on September 8, but the police will be particularly active in areas currently under a yellow-level alert, said Legault.

“The measures put in place by the government aim to protect the population against the coronavirus. We must all show good citizenship, it is a question of respect for others. We cannot afford wrongdoing that puts the most vulnerable in our society at risk. This is why the police will be called upon to protect the public,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault.

Legault explained that for months, an overwhelming majority of Quebecers have made significant efforts to follow health instructions and fight the pandemic, but that unfortunately, there is a minority of irresponsible people who, by refusing to follow rules such as wearing a mask, put the health of other people at risk, especially the elderly.