Montreal

Quebec primary students will be required to wear masks after March break

All primary school students in Quebec's red zones will have to wear pediatric procedural masks in class upon returning from March break, CBC has learned.

New regulation to be announced Thursday, affecting students in Quebec's red zones

Quebec public health is particularly concerned about the rise in COVID-19 variants, which have been showing up in schools. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

All primary school students in Quebec's red zones will have to wear a pediatric procedural mask in class upon their return from March break, CBC has learned.

The rule was recommended by public health in an effort to counter the spread of new COVID-19 variants that have been mostly cropping up in schools and daycares, and will take effect on March 8.

The Quebec government will oversee the distribution of child-sized masks to schools in the regions in question. Children from grades one through six will have to wear the masks at school and in buses, but will not be required to in gym class. 

Students in the Montreal area required to wear the procedural masks starting March 8. Students outside of Montreal will need to wear a face covering at school as of March 8, and will need to wear the procedural masks once they have been distributed to their schools.

Heidi Yetman, with the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, worries the new rules don't go far enough.

"We still have classrooms that are poorly ventilated with no physical distancing so are masks going to help in those situations?" she told CBC. 

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is expected to detail the mask plan Thursday at 1 p.m.

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