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9 questions
  • Do these adjustments apply to all workplaces?

    No. These adjustments do not apply to care settings and living environments (seniors’ residences, prisons, youth centres, etc.) when there are individuals carrying the COVID 19 virus, showing symptoms compatible with COVID-19 or having had contact with a confirmed case.

    For more information, see the decision-making tool for care settings.

  • What preventive measures in the workplace have been adjusted?

    Green zones

    Wearing a mask at all times indoors and outdoors is now recommended rather than mandatory. However, for preventive purposes, it is necessary to respect at least one of the following measures:

    • 2-metre physical distancing indoors and 1-metre distancing outdoors
    • physical barriers
    • use of a quality mask 

    Eye protection is now optional. It may, however, be required under other regulations in effect or in certain workplaces, such as those where COVID-19 patients are treated.

    Cleaning tools and equipment before sharing is now optional.

    A gradual return to the workplace is permitted for tasks previously done remotely. However, work from home is still recommended.

    Thus, in green zones, with the exception of the above-mentioned measures, the guides to sanitary standards apply in full to all sectors of activity (e.g. higher education, education, daycare). These guides are adapted to different workplaces and contain specific preventive measures. They must be consulted along with the adjustments to preventive measures in green zones.

  • What preventive measures have not been adjusted?

    There are no changes to the following measures in green zones:

    • exclusion of individuals with symptoms of COVID-19
    • hand hygiene
    • respiratory etiquette
  • Were the CNESST’s guides to sanitary standards updated to reflect the adjustments?

    No. To facilitate the implementation of the adjustments, the CNESST prepared a document on the adjustment of preventive measures in workplaces in green zones. These gradual adjustments depend on the colour-coded alert level. Since the entire province of Quebec is now in the green zone, only this level is now posted. This document allows workplaces to easily find the information needed to continue their activities in conditions adapted to the context, while remaining as safe and healthy as possible.

    The guides to sanitary standards contain preventive measures adapted to the specific characteristics of workplaces to help them adapt. They must be consulted along with the adjustment of preventive measures in workplaces in the context of reopening.

  • What adjustments have been made to measures involving protective equipment?

    Green zones

    Wearing a quality mask at all times is not mandatory, but recommended. Indoors and in transit (in a car, truck, elevator, etc.), workers must respect 2-metre physical distancing measures, be protected by a physical barrier or wear a quality mask. These measures must be implemented based on a hierarchical approach to prevention. Outdoors, 1-metre physical distancing is in effect. Despite remaining 1 metre apart outdoors, in the case of an outbreak, workers may be removed from the workplace by Public Health since the agency still uses 2-metre distancing, both indoors and outdoors, as a criterion in its contact tracing.

    Wearing eye protection (glasses or face shield) is optional, except if already required by the applicable regulations or in certain workplaces in the context of COVID-19, such as care settings.

    Thus, in green zones, with the exception of the above-mentioned measures, the guides to sanitary standards apply in full. These guides are adapted to different workplaces and contain specific preventive measures. They must be consulted along with the adjustment of preventive measures in workplaces in the context of reopening.

  • Why is it still necessary to clean and disinfect the work area?

    Only regulatory requirements (cleaning and disinfection of lunch rooms and sanitary facilities, sections 153 and 165 of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety) are mandatory. The CNESST’s guides to sanitary standards also provide for the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces once per shift or when they are visibly soiled. These are basic hygiene measures aimed at preventing infection.

    Unless required by regulation, frequently and regularly disinfecting surfaces is optional.

  • Why are respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene still mandatory at all alert levels?

    These are basic hygiene measures aimed at preventing infection.

  • Will CNESST inspectors continue their interventions in the workplace with respect to COVID-19?

    The CNESST plays a key prevention role in the current context, and works on a daily basis in collaboration with the Public Health team. Inspectors will remain on site in every region of Québec to help workplaces manage occupational health and safety.

    CNESST inspectors will continue their interventions and verify whether employers have implemented the preventive measures needed to ensure workers’ health and safety.

    The CNESST’s intervention priorities will be adjusted based on the information received from Public Health in this area.