Quebec will lift many bar and restaurant restrictions on November 1st

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“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Turbo Haüs’ Sergio Da Silva, but many wonder why dancing and singing are still banned.

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Montreal restaurant and bar owners say being able to run their facilities at full capacity will be a positive step towards financial recovery.

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Health Minister Christian Dubé announced this Thursday evening, saying bars and restaurants across Quebec will be allowed to operate at maximum capacity from November 1st.

Currently bars can only accommodate customers with 50 percent of the capacity. Under the new mandate, the distance between the tables in the restaurant will be reduced from two meters to one meter. The tables are limited to a maximum of 10 people or the residents of three private residents.

Customers are still required to show their vaccination records and wear masks when moving around a bar or restaurant.

Bans on dancing and singing will remain in place, but regular opening times will be restored so that the bars can stay open until 3 a.m.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Sergio Da Silva, co-owner of Turbo Haüs, an alt-rock venue on St-Denis St. “It’s definitely good to be back by 3am, and not just for me, but also for people who work in the industry. It allows us to have more than one shift in a day and so more people can work. “

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Turbo Haüs is a bar and a music venue, and the ongoing singing and dancing bans will hurt, said Da Silva.

“What we saw at the Bell Center (Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin’s concert last weekend) was definitely a good first step in getting people back to work in the music industry. It was nice to see how it started again. I have no problem with what specifically happened at the Bell Center – I think it was good. It’s just weird to see a government saying that when you have 15,000 people in an arena that it’s still about health care, but I can’t have 100 people in my bar.

“Shows that start over is a good thing. The show at the Bell Center was a good thing. Lots of people haven’t been able to work for months and it’s great to see that light at the end of the tunnel. But the thing is, you just can’t have one set of rules for one person and another set of rules for people who are much less likely to cause a problem. “

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Renaud Poulin, president of the Corporation des Propriétaires de Bars, Brasseries et Tavernes du Québec, said he was briefed on the government’s decision on Thursday afternoon.

“That’s good news, but it’s a first step,” said Poulin. “There are certain measures that will stay in place, but still it will help many institutions.”

Éric Le François – the co-owner of a dozen bars, including Bar de Courcelle and Le Drinkerie Ste. Cunégonde – said that he likes to go step by step.

“The real progress will be when people are allowed to dance and sing karaoke,” said Le François. “But it will be especially good to be open again until 3 a.m.”

For Peter Sergakis, president of the Union des Tenanciers de Bars du Québec and owner of many establishments in Montreal, said the changes cannot come soon enough.

“We don’t want to wait until November 1st. I think it should happen this weekend and all restrictions should be lifted, ”said Sergakis. “In the Bell Center, people sit next to each other. They drink and eat and dance to Ricky Martin on stage (in the Bell Center) without masks.

“We want dancing to come back and we want people to be able to sing.”

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  1. Frisco Lee, left, and Adrian Micholuk are managers of the Bar de Courcelle in St-Henri.  About 80 percent of its bars' salaries and rent expenses were paid for through the federal government's pandemic grants, but those end this month.

    Club and bar owners in Montreal are furious that they cannot reach their full capacity

  2. For an industry with a labor shortage, it would have been problematic to require vaccination certificates for employees, says Martin Vézina, spokesman for the Association Restauration Québec.

    Some Montreal bar owners say the COVID-19 vaccine passport “will hurt us more”.

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