Media maintain social distancing as Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube and Quebec Health Director Horacio Arruda give the daily COVID-19 briefing Monday, August 3, 2020 in Montreal. As of today the Quebec government is allowing gatherings of up to 250 people in public venues. (The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)

Gatherings of up to 250 people now allowed in Quebec

Starting today, the maximum number of people that can gather indoors and outdoors in Quebec is increasing from 50 to 250 people.

The Quebec government originally announced the rule changes for public gatherings on July 23.

The new rules apply to indoor spaces such as performance halls, movie theatres, sporting events, places of worship, and community centres. In indoor settings, physical distancing measures still apply. When standing, people must remain 2 metres apart, and 1.5 metres apart when sitting. 

Masks and face coverings are also mandatory for anyone over the age of 12 when moving around a space, but can be taken off when sitting down.

“We took into account the experience of the last few weeks, when the limit was set at 50 people, and we noted in particular that the operators were diligent in implementing the various measures necessary to ensure the safety of workers and the public,” Dr. Richard Massé, a medical adviser to Quebec’s public health department, said when the rule changes were announced. 

“However, everyone’s collaboration, notably through the application of physical distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask or face covering when indicated, is essential in ensuring the success of this new stage,” he added. 

The new rules only apply to public spaces. Private gatherings at homes are still limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Festivals, and big events also remain prohibited until Aug. 31, due to the high risk of transmission.  

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