ontario news watch

Quebec plans 'normal' return to school in fall without masks or class bubbles

MONTREAL — Quebec’s education minister says children should be able to go back to school without masks or classroom bubbles in the fall — as long as COVID-19 cases are low and students are vaccinated.

Jean-François Roberge said today authorities are banking on a relatively “normal” return to class, which will include field trips, open common lunchrooms and full-time, in-person attendance.

He says the success of the plan depends on making sure at least 75 per cent of kids 12 to 17 are vaccinated against COVID-19, and he is encouraging parents and teens to book appointments.

Roberge says the uptake in that age group is encouraging, with about 45 per cent having already received a vaccine or having made an appointment, and he says many more kids are expected to be vaccinated through their schools in the coming weeks.

He says authorities are willing to adjust the plan if COVID-19 cases rise, but he says health orders such as mask-wearing will likely apply only to affected schools.

The reopening plan requires students frequently wash their hands and includes improved ventilation systems in schools. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press