Two weeks ago, Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced that elementary and high school students would not have to wear masks in class or be separated into bubbles when they head back to school in the fall.
Today, the minister has reversed that decision and says masks will now be mandatory in the classroom for both elementary and high schools in nine regions of Quebec which include Montreal, Monteregie, Centre-du-Quebec, Outaouais, Laval, The Eastern Townships, Lanaudiere, the Lower Laurentians, and Mauricie.
"This is a measure that is preventive and prudent," said Roberge. "This is not a situation that is ideal. It is not something that we had hoped for at the beginning of the summer."
In the other eight regions - Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, Nord-du-Québec, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Capitale-Nationale, and Chaudière-Appalaches - students will be required to wear masks in common areas, on buses and while roaming about school grounds.
The announcement came Tuesday, following a meeting Monday between the minister and Quebec Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda.