A progressive relaxation of sanitary rules for Quebec's arts scene 

A progressive relaxation of sanitary rules for Quebec's arts scene
May 20, 2021

As of May 28, sanitary rules in Quebec are getting progressively more relaxed. Find out about the changes in effect for the performing arts and recreation. 

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The Premier of Quebec announced this week a progressive plan for a return to a certain normality that will be implemented over the summer. Here are some specific details provided by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications concerning the performing arts.

Performance halls

  • The curfew will end everywhere in Quebec on May 28. The regular schedule of shows can then be resumed.
  • Theatres with different sections (e‧g.: balcony, basket and parterre) will be able to assign seats for 250 people per section, while respecting the maximum capacity of 2,500 people. Each section must have a separate toilet, entrance and exit, and a supervisor who will ensure compliance with the sanitary measures in force. As a result, spontaneous street performances are not permitted.
  • The maximum capacity of 250 people will be maintained for small theatres.
  • As of May 31, theatres will be able to serve drinks again.
  • In the yellow zones only, starting June 14, theatres will be allowed to return to a distance of 1.5 metres between family bubbles.

Festivals and outdoor events

  • As of May 21, outdoor performances are permitted in front of a maximum audience of 250 people, with pre-assigned seating respecting the 2-meter distance between bubbles (1.5 meters in yellow or green zones).
  • Spontaneous street performances will be permitted as of June 25, if they meet the following conditions;
    • they last only a few minutes
    • they do not result in a crowd 
    • spectators must maintain a distance of 2 metres
    • the performance must cease if the number of people attending makes it impossible to maintain the necessary distance.
  • As of June 25, they will be able to accommodate a maximum of 2,500 people, seated or standing, with or without marked sections, depending on the alert level of the region. Please refer to the image provided for more details.
  • To assist with crowd management, tickets must be issued.
  • Live art performances will be permitted in cinema drive-ins.
  • A general guide will be produced by the Ministry of Tourism. Events will need to receive a public health clearance first.

Training and Recreation

  • Gyms will be able to open when regions turn to orange, which is predicted for May 31 for the most part.
  • For recreational circus, please refer to the Indoor and Outdoor Sports and Recreation sections of the colour-coded relaxation document (in French).


  • It is estimated that most areas will be in the green zone by June 28. It will then be possible to consider a gradual return to the office.
  • By the end of August, it is possible that masks will no longer be required in public places.

For more details, please visit the Government of Quebec website. You can also consult the documents available in the French version of this news story. 

The province of Ontario has also unveiled its phased reopening plan. Visit the Ontario government website to find out the details.

Alberta now also has a summer decontamination plan in place. This 3-stage plan can be found on the Alberta government website.