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Quebec released its back-to-school plan without masks and bubbles

Quebec released its back-to-school plan without masks and bubbles
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If the epidemiological situation allows it, elementary and high school students will not be required to wear masks or be restricted by classroom bubbles at the start of the school year.

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge and public health director Horacio Arruda made the announcement Wednesday morning as officials are aiming for the "most normal possible start to the school year for both students and staff."

"Our hope is that from day one, everything will be in place for students to return to their school as they knew it," Roberge said in a press release.

The plan also eliminates virtual schooling and will allow extracurricular activities to make a return as well as the use of cafeterias and lunchrooms. In addition, the no-mask rules will also apply to teachers and support staff.

Roberge went on to say that Quebec is counting on 75 per cent of youth ages 12 to 17 to be vaccinated by September. Schools will have to be vigilant, however, by ensuring they keep surfaces and classrooms clean and make sure students continue to wash their hands diligently.

"We're looking at that coverage, ... but we're not just looking at one factor," Arruda said. "Is there going to be a new variant? What will be the epidemiology? Will we still have very few cases in Quebec? It is possible at this point that we will still accept it."

The government will review the plan in August and make any changes if necessary.

“We are going to use the summer of 2021 to make big push to improve maintenance with a special focus on ventilation,” Roberge said.

 

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