The Quebec government is making changes to rules for bars after COVID-19 outbreaks have been linked to these venues.
Although case counts from gatherings at bars in Quebec are still being determined, Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of Quebec public health, said about 66 cases are from the Montérégie area, and around 25 cases are from other locations.
“If we don’t act, those 66 are going to generate another 120, it’s going to be more and more,” Dr. Arruda said.
Health minister Christian Dubé said as of Jul. 10, bars must stop selling alcoholic beverages at 12:00 a.m. and will have to be closed to customers at 1:00 a.m.
The number of people who can be at a bar at one time is being reduced to 50 per cent of their legal capacity and dancing is prohibited, everyone must be seated when consuming alcohol.
Dubé said police officers will be stationed around busy bar areas.
“We need everyone to work together on this, including bar owners and their clients,” the health minister said. “We will, as a government, continue to closely monitor the situation and we will not hesitate to take further action, if required.”
Dr. Arruda explained people in Quebec will voluntarily be able to give their contact information to bars and if a COVID-19 case is identified in that setting, public health will be able to reach them for contact tracing purposes.
“This is confidential information,” he said. “It’s only used if there is a case, nobody is going to ask to have access to this information unless there is a case.”