What the return to school looks like in Quebec
Photos show the new reality in parts of the province where classrooms have opened up again
Thousands of elementary school students returned to class across the province on Monday — except in the Montreal area, where the reopening has been pushed back.
Here's a look at what awaited teachers and students as they tried to conform to new physical distancing rules.
Students were greeted by teachers, often in protective equipment. Masks are not compulsory for teachers.
Students were instructed to wash their hands regularly, including before entering class.
Many schools have separate entrances for each class. Markings on the sidewalks and floors showed students where they should stand. In line, students are instructed to keep two metres apart.
On school buses, only one child is allowed per bench. Bus drivers are protected by a plastic shield.
The return to school is optional. Roughly 60 per cent of eligible elementary students outside Montreal are expected to return to class this week. There is a limit of 15 children per classroom.
The province is the first in Canada to reopen its schools to a wide cross-section of students. They were closed on March 16.
The opening date in the Montreal area, where there are more cases, has been pushed back to May 25. Schools in the Eastern Townships aren't reopening until May 13.
Students will have to take turns going outside for recess to minimize contact with their fellow students.