Since our last publication, order-in-council no. 2-2021 made on January 8, 2021, (Order in Council 2-2021) has been published by the Quebec government. This order-in-council, which came into force on January 9, 2021, at 5 a.m., provides a framework for the latest government measures that were announced on January 6 to contain the spread of COVID 19. Here is an update on the measures that apply.
Curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. starting January 9, 2021
Since January 9, and pursuant to Order in Council 2-2021, no one is allowed to leave his or her residence or its equivalent between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
An exception is made for people who perform employment work or provide professional services required to continue the activities or services offered by their employers or their businesses, including the transportation of goods necessary to pursue those activities or services. These activities or services, however, must not be suspended under an order in council or ministerial order.
Consequently, employers whose activities or services are not suspended are invited to provide their employees whose work performance is necessary to pursue those activities or services with an attestation to that effect, helping these employees prove they need to travel during curfew. A model employer attestation was published on January 7.
Teleworking mandatory until February 8, 2021
Under Order in Council 2-2021 and as indicated in our January 7, 2021, publication, the mandatory teleworking measure provided for in ministerial order no. 2020-105 (Ministerial Order 2020-105) issued by the minister of health and social services remains in force, at least until February 8.
Manufacturing and construction sectors
As stipulated in Order in Council 2-2021, manufacturing, primary processing and construction industry enterprises may pursue their activities, provided that these are reduced to pursue only those that are necessary to complete their commitments.
Note, too, that employers in these sectors are asked to adjust work shifts so as to limit the staff present at any time on production and construction sites; as indicated on the Quebec government’s website, this remains a recommendation that is not specifically provided for in Order in Council 2-2021.
The government has indicated that the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) will need to step up its initiatives in the workplace to ensure compliance with health recommendations.
Non-priority commercial enterprises closed until February 8, 2021
The December 23, 2020, order-in-council 1419-2020 (Order in Council 1419-2020) and the December 30, 2020, ministerial order 2020-108 (Ministerial Order 2020-108) were repealed and replaced by Order in Council 2-2021. In concrete terms, non-priority commercial enterprises will remain closed until February 8 inclusively, throughout Quebec. The list of priority commercial enterprises that are authorized to pursue their activities is available on the Quebec government’s website.
Online sales and curbside pickups are authorized, both for priority and non-priority commercial enterprises.
Finally, even though the Quebec premier’s January 6, 2021, press release states that these measures will continue to apply until February 8, inclusively, Order in Council 2-2021 makes no mention on the subject. It is therefore possible that its application will be extended beyond that date.
We will keep you informed of any further developments regarding the measures that apply to employers.
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