The numbers associated with new coronavirus cases and administered vaccine doses continue to show that the situation is improving in Quebec. As a result, premier François Legault has decided to move forward with the next step in the province’s de-confinement plan, which includes reopening its bars.
In a press conference on June 8, Legault confirmed that, as previously planned, Montreal would move into the yellow tier on Quebec’s colour-coded coronavirus alert scale on Monday, June 14, meaning the city’s bars will be able to usher customers back inside. As of Friday, June 11, bar terrasses are also permitted to reopen.
These changes mark the first time bars can welcome patrons on-site for a drink since October 1, 2020. For bars without a kitchen or a restaurant permit, that’s meant over eight months without even the option of takeout or delivery — for food or cocktails.
Bars reopening for indoor seating in yellow zones must comply with the following public health measures upon reopening indoors: not exceed 50 percent of the maximum capacity stipulated by their liquor licence; maintain a two-meter distance between tables; keep a registry of customer contact information; prohibit dancing and singing (sorry karaoke fans); and close at midnight, with alcohol sales ending an hour earlier. Patrons sharing a table should not belong to more than two residences.
The zone change relaxes measures for restaurants, too. Since resuming outdoor dining on May 28 and indoor dining yesterday, June 7, restaurants have had to ensure that a maximum of two adults from different addresses be seated at a single table, per the public health guidelines applicable to orange zones. But, in the yellow tier, the rule is loosened so that however many occupants from two addresses may sit together at a restaurant table.
For terrasse service starting on June 11, bars, like restaurants, must only seat a maximum of two adults from different addresses per table, or however many from a single dwelling.