The plan for the return to classes for the Fall 2021 term in higher education involves students returning to colleges and university campuses, for reasons including:

  • the relative stability of the epidemiological situation in Québec
  • the very positive response by the student community to vaccination
  • the high priority given by the government to higher education

General guidelines for all educational institutions

Physical distancing is not required between students in classrooms. However, a distance of 2 metres is required in certain cases: in gyms, between tables in eating areas and during certain activities such as singing lessons. In common areas, students should remain 1 metre apart, ideally.  

Students must wear a procedural mask at all times, even while sitting in class or at the library, except during activities that require them to remove the mask (e.g. while eating, during classes that involve playing certain musical instruments, when engaging in physical activity, when doing theatre). Students may also remove their mask while singing, as long as they remain 2 metres apart from each other. 

Extracurricular activities, including sports activities, are permitted in all educational institutions. The vaccination passport may be required, however. For more information, please consult the Places and activities requiring the COVID-19 Vaccination Passport web page.

Educational institutions must also have a backup plan, keep it up to date and be prepared to carry it out quickly should the health situation require it. 

Educational institutions must continue to enforce health and safety measures on campus (disinfection and ventilation of spaces, installation of hand hygiene stations and contactless garbage bins, etc.). Institutions must also refer to the Gestion des cas et des contacts dans les établissements d’enseignement postsecondaire guide This hyperlink will open in a new window. (available in French only) to establish procedures for dealing with cases in which individuals present symptoms or receive a positive test result. 

Course attendance

Colleges and universities determine the format of courses (e.g. in person, hybrid, distance education) and students choose accordingly. However, colleges and universities are advised to ensure flexibility for students with medical issues.

Student residences

Educational institutions are responsible for managing student residences and must comply with the guidelines issued by the public health authorities. Additionally, sanitary measures (e.g. disinfection and ventilation of buildings, installation of hand hygiene stations and hands-free garbage cans) and a procedure for managing residents with symptoms related to COVID-19 and residents with COVID-19 must be implemented in student residences.

Guideline specific to welcoming and integration activities, based on the epidemiological situation

Based on the recommendations issued by the public health authorities and to ensure a healthy and safe return to classes for everyone, a guideline specific to welcoming and integration activities has been established for institutions where the epidemiological risk is deemed to be greater. This risk may be the result of insufficient vaccine coverage (first dose completed, or appointment made for the second dose) for the student population or based on changes to the health situation in the region where these institutions are located. 

At institutions that are not subject to this specific guideline, welcoming and integration activities are permitted. They must take place according to the guidelines issued by the public health authorities for events of this type (ceremonies, events or social activities, depending on the case).  

At institutions where the epidemiological risk is deemed to be greater and which are subject to this specific guideline, activities of this nature may not be held in person.

List of institutions where the epidemiological risk is deemed to be greater

Type of institutionName of institution 
CEGEPs Cégep de Rosemont
Cégep MarieVictorin
Subsidized private collegesInstitut Teccart
Collège TAV
Nonsubsidized private collegesInstitut d'enregistrement du Canada
Collège l'Avenir de Rosemont

Total number of institutions: 6.  

Information up to date as of September 2, 2021. This list is updated weekly.