Summary of Premier Legault and Minister Fitzgibbon's (Economy) press briefing on April 28, 2020

28 April 2020

The premier of Québec announced the gradual reopening of three major business sectors during the month of May 2020: retail, manufacturing and construction.

Guides have been drafted by CNESST and will be applicable to all businesses as soon as their activities resume. These rules will be mandatory and will apply to employers, employees and, in some cases, customers.

In addition, all physical distancing measures will be maintained despite the reopening of some businesses.

The gathering of people is still not allowed.

Gradual reopening of retail stores 

  • Applicable to establishments that are not located in shopping centres or that have a direct exterior access, where applicable; or businesses in the supply chains of retail stores.
  • Will occur everywhere in Québec, except in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), on Monday, May 4, 2020.
  • For Greater Montréal, this reopening will occur on May 11, 2020.
  • Shopping centres remain closed until further notice.
  • Finally, the Sunday closure of all businesses except for pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants and some grocery stores will be maintained until May 31, 2020.

For the manufacturing industry

  • The reopening will take place in two stages. As of Monday, May 11, 2020, manufacturing companies in all regions of Québec, including Montréal, will be able to resume operations. However, there will be a restriction on the number of employees who can work at a single location at the same time.
  • Manufacturing companies must at all times throughout the day limit staff per shift on a given site to a maximum of 50 workers, plus another 50% of the employees when the number of workers in a given company exceeds the limit of 50 workers. This measure is taken to facilitate physical distancing between employees.
  • In addition, if the situation permits, manufacturing companies in all regions of Québec will be able to resume operations at full capacity without restriction as to the number of employees as of May 25, 2020.

For the construction industry 

  • All construction industry worksites will resume their activities as of May 11, 2020.
  • The reopening of construction sites also implies the reopening of the entire supply chain in this sector on the same date.


Penalties will be imposed for non-compliance with the CNESST guides.

The penalty system will be applied based on the degree of seriousness of the fault, and the Government of Québec does not rule out the possibility of holding employers and employees liable for failing to comply with public safety instructions.

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