The orientations of the 2021-2022 back-to-school plan were established based on the current health situation and the ongoing vaccination rollout among the population. They assume that, when school starts again, 75% of the population aged 12 and up will have been vaccinated, with the majority of 12- to 17‑year‑olds having received two doses. For more information, please consult the COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents from 12 to 17 years of age page.

The presence of virus variants in Québec requires that the start of the new school year be approached with caution. It is necessary to implement contingency health measures in some regions of Québec in order to reduce the risk of outbreaks and avoid closing classes.

Rapid tests may be used in elementary and secondary schools located in regions where the epidemiological situation is more worrisome. This will be in addition to the testing that is currently available. 

This page will be updated based on changes in the epidemiological situation. Please check back regularly.

Rapid screening tests for COVID-19 in schools

Even though rapid tests are being deployed in the schools, this new screening method should be a last resort. If a child presents symptoms associated with COVID-19 This hyperlink will open in a new window. before going to school, it is essential that they be kept at home. They must then be tested in a screening centre. Go to the COVID-19 Screening Platform This hyperlink will open in a new window. to locate the nearest screening centre and make an appointment. In case of doubt, the self-assessment tool This hyperlink will open in a new window. is available to help you make the best possible decision.

Initially, rapid screening tests will be made available in educational institutions where the risk of an outbreak is higher due to a deteriorating epidemiological situation. The rapid screening tests will be deployed in elementary schools located in the following regions: Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec, Estrie, Montréal, Outaouais, Laval, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Montérégie, Chaudières-Appalaches (Beauce-Sartigan, Appalaches, Etchemins).

In order to quickly test students who develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 over the course of the day and thereby enable as many students as possible to continue attending class in person, rapid screening tests are being made available in some educational institutions.

These tests involve taking a simple nasal swab that yields a result within 15 minutes. They can be administered by a school staff member designated by the school administrator and trained under the authority of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS). A screening test cannot be administered to a child without the prior consent of a parent. A consent form is provided by the school.

The school administrators quickly send the test results, along with accompanying recommendations, to the parent(s). If the test is negative, the student can return to class, wearing a mask. If the test is positive, the student will be asked to self-isolate. The student’s parent will be contacted by phone and asked to pick up their child, who will then have to take a second test at a designated screening centre. For more information, see the Important information for parents (PDF 437 Kb) document.

In the event that a child develops symptoms associated with COVID-19 over the course of the day and the child’s parent has not consented to have them tested, no test is administered. At that point, the child is kept in isolation and a parent is called to come pick them up at the school.

It is important to point out that no screening tests will be administered to children who do not present symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Wearing of procedural masks

Regions in which the number of daily cases is higher than the limit

Guidelines on the wearing of masks in the regions of Québec where the number of cases per day is higher than the limit required to remain a green zone: Centre-du-Québec, Estrie, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Laval, Mauricie, Montérégie, Montréal, Outaouais and, as of September 10, Les Appalaches, Beauce-Sartigan and Les Etchemins regional county municipalities.

Preschool

Wearing a mask is not required.

Elementary and secondary school

Wearing a mask is mandatory at all times inside the school: in classrooms, at the daycare, in common areas and while students are circulating, as well as while using school transportation.

Adult general education and vocational training

Wearing a procedural mask is mandatory at all times, even in class.

Other regions, where the case numbers are stable

For other regions in Québec, where the number of cases is stable, see the guidelines that apply to the wearing of procedural masks.

Preschool

Wearing a mask is not required.

Elementary and secondary school

Wearing a mask is mandatory in common areas and while students are circulating, as well as while using school transportation. Masks are not required in class.

Adult general education and vocational training

Wearing a procedural mask is mandatory at all times, even in class.

Procedural masks are required for all staff members, in accordance with the CNESST guidelines.

Extracurricular activities

In elementary schools, extracurricular activities and sports will continue. However, it is possible that students be required to temporarily stop participating in their extracurricular activities, for example, if they have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID‑19 at school.

In secondary schools, the vaccination passport will be required to participate in some extracurricular physical activities or sports. The vaccination passport will also be required to participate in interscholastic matches or competitions as part of specific sports programs and Sports-Études programs. The outdoor activities for which the vaccination passport will be required are those involving frequent or prolonged contact. The vaccination passport will also be required for all indoor physical activities and sports. For more information, see the full list.

Hygiene and disinfection measures

Hand-hygiene, cleaning and surface-disinfection measures must be followed. 

The following health measures will be maintained:

  • Cleaning and disinfection measures, particularly with regard to frequently touched surfaces 
  • Hand hygiene routines for students and staff, as per CNESST recommendations 
  • Evaluation of children with symptoms to see if they should be isolated

Air quality

For more information about the measures in effect, please consult the Air quality in schools page.

In-person attendance

100% of students are attending classes in person on a full-time basis.

Organisation of groups

There are no restrictions.

Professional services

There are no restrictions.

Pedagogical support

Additional support measures are provided for vulnerable students or those experiencing academic delays.

A strategy involving an investment of $13 million will be implemented to support students who wish to return to school after having dropped out.

Cafeterias

Students and staff members are required to wear a mask when circulating in the cafeteria. They may remove it during meals.  

Circulation in educational institutions

Procedural masks are required for students in elementary and secondary school, as well as for students in vocational training and adult general education. 

Procedural masks are required for all staff members, in accordance with the CNESST guidelines.

School transportation

Students have assigned seats to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.

Procedural masks are required for students in elementary and secondary school, as well as for students in vocational training and adult general education. 

Procedural masks are required for all staff members, in accordance with the CNESST guidelines.