Quebec relaxes rules around physical distancing at daycares

Children in the same group won't have to stay two metres apart from one another as of next Monday.

Children in the same group won't have to stay two metres apart from one another as of next Monday

Children in Quebec daycares will soon be able to use previously forbidden items, like teddy bears, books and scissors. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC) (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Quebec public health is getting rid of physical distancing rules at daycares between children in the same group.

The changes take effect on Monday.

The groups can be a maximum of 10 children. Their teacher also won't have to stay two metres away, but other adults who work at the same daycare must keep their distance, and personal protective equipment, like masks and visors, must always be worn. 

Basic sanitary rules, such as frequent hand-washing, disinfecting, and coughing into the elbow will have to be observed. 

Children will also be able to use items that are difficult to disinfect, like teddy bears, scissors, and books, according to Radio-Canada.

These rules will apply everywhere in Quebec, including the greater Montreal area, Joliette, and L'Épiphanie.

Earlier this week, the province announced other changes to physical-distancing rules, including that children under 16 can be closer together — only one metre apart instead of two.

Return to normal capacity

Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe confirmed that as of Monday, daycares outside the greater Montreal area, Joliette, and L'Épiphanie will be able to return to maximum capacity.

The target date for daycares in Montreal, Joliette, and L'Épiphanie to normal capacity is July 13, he said.

When daycares in Quebec opened, on June 1 in Montreal and May 11 elsewhere in the province, they were only allowed to operate at half capacity.

With files from Radio-Canada's Sébastien Bovet

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