Restaurants will be able to resume welcoming customers to their establishments starting June 15, including dining rooms and terraces.
However, restaurateurs will have to arrange the premises in such a way as to maintain a physical distance of two meters between customers, unless they are occupants of the same private residence or a physical barrier to limit the contagion of COVID-19 does not separate them.
The Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, clarified that the number of customers who can be accommodated inside and outside will be left to the good judgment of the restaurateurs.
Customers will not be able to serve themselves directly in a buffet, nor in a cutlery or self-service food counter (eg: salad bar, bread bar). In shopping centers which are authorized to open, the common catering areas may be used by customers as long as they have been fitted out in accordance with the conditions laid down by public health authorities.
The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) has produced tools to support the restaurant sector in managing workers’ health and safety in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bars will have to wait
Although restaurants can reopen their establishments to the public, bars will still have to wait before they can restart their activities. No date has yet been set for their reopening.
Doctor Richard Massé, of public health, explains how the two types of establishment differ.
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. In this regard, the verifications of the requests made will be accelerated.