The Quebec government will require students in primary and secondary schools in nine regions across the province to wear face masks in classrooms.
Education Minister Jean-François Roberge made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, saying it’s “not a situation we were hoping for at the beginning of the summer.”
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Masks will be mandatory in classrooms across Montreal, Laval, Lanaudière, Laurentians, Capitale-Nationale, Outaouais, the Eastern Townships, and Mauricie.
Roberge says the measure is “preventative and prudent” amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the province.
Students will have to wear masks in classrooms, busses, and all school common areas. Staff and teachers will not be required to wear masks if they can maintain a two-metre physical distance.
Roberge says the government originally intended to ditch face masks in class but said the emergence of the Delta variant made those plans impossible.
The minister also added that students would not be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine if they wish to partake in sports or extracurricular activities.
He says the government has “no plans” to mandate vaccines for students but urged as many students as possible (who are of age) to get the vaccine.