Montreal

With high heat and lower orange-zone risk, Quebec students can take off masks in class

Due to the heat wave hitting much Quebec, the Ministry of Public Health says elementary and high school students living in orange zones will no longer be obliged to wear masks starting Tuesday.

Masks have been required in elementary schools since March break

The Quebec government is relaxing the mask rule in orange zone classrooms. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Due to the heat wave hitting much Quebec, the Health Ministry says elementary and high school students living in orange zones will no longer have to wear masks in the classroom, starting Tuesday.

However, students must wear the mask in common areas, when traveling in the corridors and in school transportation, the ministry says in a Monday announcement.

This means students across the province are allowed to take off their masks in certain situations because there are no more red zones. Students in yellow and green zones were already allowed to remove their masks.

The announcement says this decision is part of the government's efforts to reopen the province as the COVID-19 epidemiological situation improves across Quebec. 

Some schools in the Montérégie region, located on Montreal's South Shore, had already allowed students to remove their masks in class on Monday as long as they stayed seated.

"I know it was difficult today in our classes," said Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge on Twitter Monday.

Because of the extreme heat, air conditioners and fans will also be allowed in schools.

Kids in elementary school have been wearing masks since they returned from March break.

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