OTTAWA -- More parts of the Outaouais region of Quebec, just north of Ottawa, will be moving to the maximum alert level under Quebec's COVID-19 framework this week.

The Outaouais public health unit (CISSSO) said in a press release Monday that as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, the MRC de Papineau and the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau areas would move from Level 3 (orange) to Level 4 (red).

"The passage for these two MRCs into red is justified by a significant increase in new cases in recent weeks, outbreaks in care and accommodation settings for seniors as well as a distribution of cases in several municipalities," The CISSSO said in French.

This would affect places such as Gracefield, Maniwaki and Montebello, among others.

The Outaouais region has been a mixed zone for some time. The whole of the region is considered to be in the Level 3 or "Orange" zone but the City of Gatineau and the MRC des Collines de l'Outaouais were moved to the Level 4 or "Red" zone on Oct. 10 and have remained there since.

Under the maximum alert level, private gatherings are prohibited and some businesses must close their doors to customers.

Here are measures under the red zone maximum restrictions:


• Schools

• Take-out, delivery, and curbside pickup orders at restaurants

• Businesses, stores and boutiques

• Private professional and health services are open only for services that require an individual’s presence

• Personal and beauty care services are maintained

• Community organizations' services are maintained


• Auditoriums, cinemas, theatres and museums are closed

• Libraries, other than those in educational institutions, are closed, except lending desks

• Dining rooms are closed

• Bars, breweries, taverns and casinos are closed

• Microbreweries and distilleries are closed only for their services for consumption of food or beverages on the premises

• Saunas and spas are closed, except personal care provided therein

Sports and recreation

• All organized sports and recreational activities are suspended

• Activities carried out individually or in pairs are permitted, provided that participants respect the health guidelines in effect

• Individual practice and training activities are permitted

• Indoor sports facilities may remain open for individual activities, but dressing rooms may not be used or accessed, except to use the washroom

• No competitions are allowed

• Physical fitness rooms and centres are closed

Public gatherings


• Most public gatherings


• Places of worship and funerals (maximum of 25 people and an attendance registry must be kept)

• Public demonstrations and protests (masks must be worn at all times)

Private gatherings

• All private gatherings are prohibited

Private residences


• Visitors from another address


• A single visitor from another address for single individuals (it is recommended to always have the same person In order to limit social contact)

• Informal caregivers

• Individuals offering services or support

• Labour for planned work

Inter-regional travel

• Not recommended toward a green, yellow or orange zone and outside Québec (except for essential travel, students, workers, shared custody, freight transportation)