Important Reads
COVID-19

COVID-19

January 11, 2021

On January 9, 2021, an 8:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. curfew came into effect for all of Québec until February 8, 2021. However, maple production has been considered an essential service, meaning that you are able to conduct your business, while complying with all health regulations in force.

We have identified information that is crucial for maple enterprises, a summary of which you will find below, in the hope that it will clarify what needs to be known and done.

Letter from deputy general manager, Isabelle Lapointe, sent on January 11, 2021

 

The Curfew and its Impact on Maple Production: Attestation for your Employees

The government-imposed curfew in effect from January 9 to February 8, 2021 (from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.) prohibits all persons from being away from their place of residence or its premises. There are exceptions. The first exception is “a person whose presence is required at the person’s place of work…”

This means that maple producers and workers will be allowed to circulate during curfew hours for work purposes. However, they must be prepared to show justification for being away from their homes.

It is therefore strongly recommended that employers fill out an Attestation de l’employeur – Déplacement durant le couvre-feu décrété par le gouvernement du Québec form (available in French only) for each of their employees. They must carry the document with them to show law enforcement, in the event that such justification is required.

The form can be downloaded from the Government of Québec website here under the Curfew heading .

 

Maple Workers: Observance of Health Guidelines

The restrictions do not prohibit you from carrying out your season preparations with the people you need to do so. All personnel on the job must comply with the standing sanitary guidelines (distancing, no interior or exterior gatherings, hand washing, wearing a mask when distancing is not possible, etc.).

 

Tapping: Observance of Health Guidelines

The entire agri-food sector is designated an essential service, so maple producers are permitted to conduct the usual preparations for the harvest season. Tapping can begin or continue but the sanitary guidelines that have been in place for several months still apply:

  • Frequent washing of hands
  • Distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) between people
  • Wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible
  • Frequent sanitization of tools and objects handled by different people
  • No exterior or interior gatherings
  • Physical distancing measures in place for work breaks and meals (no shared seating):
    • Workers should eat in rooms large enough to provide a distance of at least 2 metres between them, as much as possible
      • If a room of this size is not available, mealtimes should be staggered to limit the number of people in the dining area at any one time.
    • No sharing of cups, glasses, plates, or utensils.

In spite of taking all such precautions, if any person connected to your enterprise tests positive for COVID-19, it is your civic duty to notify public health officials at Québec.ca or by calling 1-877-644-4545.

 

Travelling between Regions and Cities/Towns: Permitted, but Not Recommended

The Government of Québec does not recommend travel between regions or cities/towns. This means such movement is allowed but only for reasons deemed essential: by students and workers, to facilitate shared custody, and the transportation of goods. No attestation is required to travel between regions if it occurs between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (the non-curfew period).

 

Stores Selling Farm Products: Open

All stores that sell farm products are allowed to stay open. It is recommended that you check with each business to know their store policies and opening hours during this time.

 

Maple Processing Plants and the Warehouse: Open

Agriculture is designated as an essential service, so all processing plants remain in operations, as does our plant and warehouse in Laurierville.

 

Construction: In Slowdown

Companies in the construction sector may continue operations at the minimum level required to fulfill their business obligations. It is the responsibility of maple producers who are engaged with contractors to determine whether they can carry out promised work.

 

Important Links:

https://www.quebec.ca/sante/problemes-de-sante/a-z/coronavirus-2019/

https://www.cnesst.gouv.qc.ca/salle-de-presse/covid-19/Pages/trousse.aspx

https://www.quebec.ca/sante/problemes-de-sante/a-z/coronavirus-2019/confinement-du-quebec-covid-19/ (to download the Curfew form for your employees)