Québec Announces Additional Delay to Reopen Retail Stores in Greater Montréal Area and Provides Clarity on Direct Exterior Access

May 7, 2020

Update:  As of May 7thin Greater Montreal, the reopening of retail stores with a direct exterior access that customers usually use, as well as those businesses in the retail supply chain, has been further postponed to May 25th.

On May 4th, 2020, the Government of Québec announced that the reopening of retail stores with a direct exterior access in Greater Montréal will now be delayed to May 18th (originally set for May 11th) as will be those businesses in the retail supply chain located in Greater Montréal.  In addition, the Government has now clarified on its site that only those retail stores with an outside entrance normally used by customers are allowed to reopen under the direct exterior access outside exception.

 

Retail Stores and Retail Supply Chain located in Greater Montréal 

Greater Montréal  (Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) as it is formally known) is composed of the islands of Montréal, Laval, and the North and the South Shores of Montréal.

The announcement of the delay was made on the same day that retail stores with a direct exterior access outside Greater Montréal were permitted to reopen, as were businesses in their supply chain located outside Greater Montréal. As mentioned previously, the ability to maintain the current schedule of reopening depends on the progression of the virus and the healthcare system’s ability to deal with it. The delay was prompted by the crowded situation in Montréal's hospitals. Additional delays are possible.

Direct Exterior Access

The Government site now makes it clear that retailers cannot use something other than a regular customer entrance (e.g. an employee entrance, a shipping/receiving door or other service entrance) as a means of opening their stores in May.  Access to retail stores through an indoor common area are prohibited. This leaves many retailers in shopping centers unable to open on May 4th or May 18th, as applicable. 

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For more on Québec’s reopening plan, including applicable employment health and safety considerations for the retail sector, please see our prior blog post.

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