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What Measures to Expect as Quebec Restaurants Reopen Dining Rooms (Again)

The province’s easing of COVID-19 safety mandates beginning on January 31 brings diners back into restaurants

table with white table cloth and wine glasses Getty Images

Quebec moves ahead with its gradual lifting of coronavirus lockdown measures Monday, January 31. As a result, restaurants are now permitted to reopen their dining rooms at 50 percent capacity, exactly one month after they were ordered closed on New Year’s Eve in an effort to limit the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. Here’s what that does — and does not mean — for dining out in the province right now:

Can I now eat out with the people I live with? Yes.

Can people from two separate households eat together at the same table? Yes.

Can people from more than two households eat together at the same table? Yes, as long as the group does not exceed four.

Can the occupants from more than two households make a group reservation for more than four people? Yes, group bookings are allowed, but the above table caps must be respected.

Can the spacing between tables be reduced in the case of a group reservation? No, tables must be at least 1 metre apart to maintain the 50 percent capacity requirement.

Do the same restrictions apply to outdoor terrasses? No. Outdoor terrasses can host groups of up to 20 people, or the occupants from three households, per table.

Will restaurants still be checking vaccine passports? Yes, vaccine passports continue to be mandatory for eating out, and they must be shown alongside a photo ID.

Will my vaccine passport work if I haven’t received my booster shot? Yes. The province has floated the idea of making third doses of the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for vaccine passports to scan as “adequately protected,” but this hasn’t been enforced, yet.

Can I eat at a restaurant if I recently received my first dose of the coronavirus vaccine? No, two doses are required.

Can I dine at a restaurant if I am unvaccinated due to medical reasons? If one of Quebec’s listed contraindications has been confirmed by a physician, then your vaccine passport should scan as “adequately protected.”

Do I still have to wear a mask inside? Yes. Masks continue to be required when diners are circulating through the dining room.

Do all the above rules apply to bars too? Bars remain closed, but once they reopen, they will likely have to follow similar rules.

Are Quebec bars reopening soon? The provincial government still hasn’t provided a reopening date.

Are late-night dinners allowed? No. Food and drink service at restaurants must end at 11 p.m., and closing time is at midnight.

Can takeout and food delivery continue past 11 p.m.? Yes.