Quebec has given nightlife establishments the go-ahead to reanimate their dance floors and plug in their microphones, with an announcement today that it will lift its ban on singing and dancing in restaurants and bars on November 15.
Health minister Christian Dubé made the announcement today during a press conference, emphasizing that vaccine passports will nonetheless remain mandatory for entry into restaurants and bars. Face masks are also required at all times, even for singers, unless they can maintain 2 meters of distance from others or sing from behind a physical barrier. Bars and restaurants will no longer be required to maintain a register of customers.
The news comes just over a week after thousands in Montreal gathered on Avenue du Parc in protest of the the province’s ban on dancing in bars. A collective of nightlife establishments, including Stereo, Le Salon Daomé, Flyjin, and Le Belmont, organized the event.
On November 1, the province eased a number of other rules applying to restaurants and bars, including those pertaining to capacity limits and abridged operating hours. but dancing and singing has remained off the table — until now.
Dancing in Quebec bars has been banned since March 2020, while singing has been suspended since September last year, after a COVID-19 outbreak was traced back to a karaoke night in Quebec City.
Dubé noted that though Quebec’s epidemiological situation appears stable, it’s still too early to tell what impact the changes that went into effect yesterday will have. The province reported 497 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths today.