Back-to-school plan for education and higher education – Fall 2020

PRESCHOOL, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND SECONDARY I, II AND III

  • 100% of students present in schools full-time
  • Organization of the school that allows students to remain in their class
  • Groups divided into smaller groups of no more than six students
  • Compliance with the current physical distancing rules
  • Staff move between rooms when teaching different subjects
  • Modified access to common areas, while respecting disinfection and distancing measures (gymnasium, music rooms, cafeteria, etc.)
  • Reorganization of schedules and special projects based on the principle of closed groups, with each student staying in their group no matter what courses they are taking

SECONDARY IV AND V

Two options available to school service centres based on their realities and the needs identified in their respective school communities

Option 1: 100% of students present in schools full-time

  • Stable groups divided into smaller groups of no more than six students
  • Compliance with the current physical distancing rules
  • Staff move between rooms when teaching different subjects
  • Modified access to common areas, while respecting disinfection and distancing measures (gymnasium, music rooms, cafeteria, etc.)
  • Reorganization of schedules and special projects based on the principle of closed groups, with each student staying in their group no matter what courses they are taking

Option 2: Possibility of modifying schedules and reducing time at school to allow optional courses to continue

  • Students present in institutions as often as possible, but no less than 50% of the time usually prescribed, based on locally determined arrangements and local conditions 
  • Compliance with the current physical distancing rules
  • Assigning of homework   
  • Prioritization of online learning resources and pedagogical activities outside regular school rooms

ADULT GENERAL EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING

  • Adult learners and students on-site for practical learning and exams, or for activities provided to specific categories of students (social integration, francization, etc.)
  • Compliance with the current physical distancing rules, except in programs where it is impossible to do so, in which case, students must use personal protective equipment
  • Possibility of organizing training in the workplace, while respecting the guidelines issued by the public health authorities
  • Provision of masks and visors to vocational training teachers by the Ministère, in compliance with the requirements of the CNESST guide
  • Adult general education and vocational training:
    • A distance of 1.5 metres is permitted between adult learners and students in classrooms
    • A distance of 2 metres is maintained between adult learners/students and teachers
    • In programs where it is impossible to maintain the recommended distance, adult learners and students must use personal protective equipment
  • Internships can resume in businesses that are open, provided that public health rules are respected

A) Creation of fixed groups and subgroups to limit contact 

  • Organization of groups that are fixed and stable, in both elementary and secondary schools:
    • The same students remain together in the same rooms
    • Teachers move between classes
  • Classrooms organized to accommodate separate, stable subgroups:
    • Each subgroup consists of no more than six students
    • A distance of 1 metre is maintained between students of different subgroups
    • A distance of 2 metres is maintained between students and adults (teachers)
  • Stability: groups and subgroups remain together throughout the day and from one day to the next
  • Students are placed in subgroups to limit personal contact and maximize the space between students in order to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus by means of droplets

B)  Increased hygiene measures

  • Regular handwashing: at the beginning and end of the day, before and after meals, and before and after breaks and recess periods
  • Face masks worn by preschool teachers, staff members working with students with disabilities, and vocational training teachers
  • Face masks temporarily worn by certain staff members in close contact with students during interventions
  • Janitorial services: cleaning and disinfection that complies with the Guide d’intervention prévention et contrôle des infections dans les services de garde et écoles du Québec (MSSS, 2015)
  • Emergency kits provided and ready to be used in response to a suspected case of COVID-19 in a school; the kits contain a mask, a visor, a smock (gown), gloves and alcohol-based hand sanitizer

C) Conditions for student movement that limit physical contacts

  • Adjustment of schedules to reduce the number of students who enter and exit facilities at the same time (e.g. one group, level or cycle at time, based on the situation of the school): at the beginning of the day and during meals, breaks and recess  
  • Maintaining physical distance between groups and subgroups when moving about and while in communal spaces.
  • Moving in hallways in only one direction at a time (creation of one-way lanes by using specific markings, for example)
  • Specific organization of movement and use of specialized rooms (to minimize the use of these rooms by different groups during the same day, perhaps by scheduling the extended use of a given room, for example) and cleaning of these rooms between groups, if applicable
  • All school service centres must be equipped with an emergency protocol.
  • This protocol must enable them to transition quickly to distance education in the event of a total or partial closure of educational institutions.
  • The protocol must include a plan for the efficient distribution of tablets and laptops to students who will need them, established procedures for using digital platforms to maintain learning and communication, training for staff, students and parents on how to use these tools, and accountability measures for distance services provided to students.
  • For its part, the government will ensure that all necessary measures are implemented in preparation for a second wave.
  • Note that a free, accelerated training program is already available for teachers and other school staff through an agreement with TÉLUQ.
  • The Open School This hyperlink will open in a new window. website that was launched on March 30 will continue to be enhanced and enriched.
  • The government is also working on other initiatives in a proactive fashion, such as the creation of the Matière à emporter project, in collaboration with Savoir Média. As part of this project, short educational videos will be recorded and broadcast on television and posted online if educational establishments close. Teachers will present the video content, which provides a concrete way to continue with school from home.
  • Starting in September, it is again compulsory for all students to be physically present at school.
  • The only exception to this rule concerns students with a health condition that makes them vulnerable (e.g. chronic disease, severe immunodeficiency). They may choose not to return to school and instead be taught and receive support from a distance (a doctor’s note will be required).
  • Some pedagogical programs and extracurricular activities are possible, based on the nature of the physical distancing measures required
  • This is a local decision, made together with the partners involved (e.g. sports federations, partners in the arts sector, scientific organizations)
  • Access to sports equipment is permitted and the same guidelines for sports must be applied in schools as those that apply to sports federations
  • Note, however, that dividing the year into semesters (for example: for anglais intensif) is to be avoided to ensure that students are not penalized if another lockdown proves necessary

In general, the use of masks and face coverings in a school setting is not prescribed by the health authorities. However, reusable face coverings will be provided to school staff who request them.

No more than two students can be seated on the same bench, bringing the number of students who can be on board a school bus at the same time to 48.

  • Siblings should be seated together.
  • The same two students should remain seated together on the same bench every day, if possible.
  • Wearing face-coverings while in the vehicle is strongly recommended for students in preschool and elementary school and mandatory for students in secondary school. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be made available to students at the entrance of the vehicle. 
  • The vehicle must be fully cleaned after transporting each group of students.

School bus drivers will have access to the necessary personal protective equipment (e.g. mask, visor). The installation of a physical Plexiglas barrier could be an additional option to ensure their safety.

If they are able to bring their children to school themselves, parents will once again be encouraged to do so.

School play structures are scheduled to reopen

  • The physical distancing rules of one metre between subgroups of students and two metres between students and adults must be respected during indoor and outdoor activities
  • For the moment, given that it is difficult to avoid touching your face with your hands, especially during physical and sports activities, it is recommended that shared objects or equipment be disinfected between each use
  • Children will be able to play with balls, provided they only make contact with their feet. It is important not to touch the balls with their hands. However, it is possible that the guidelines will change, based on new recommendations issued by the health authorities

The Ministère asks that each educational institution plan for the maximum number of students to be present on their campuses by offering as many in-person educational activities and support services as possible.

  • Staff members have access to facilities
  • Each institution will plan to offer hybrid training options that provide students with regular feedback and follow-up
  • Institutions will prioritize in-person educational activities and support for students who are transitioning from secondary school to college or from college to university, and students with disabilities or special needs

This scenario will take into account each institution's unique situation, and institutions must manage their spaces and schedules by taking into account their unique characteristics in order to maximize the number of students present in classrooms.  

Hybrid teaching methods, which must provide students with both in-person and remote learning opportunities, are aimed at alleviating the sense of isolation felt by certain students during the winter 2020 term, when all learning had to take place at a distance.

We believe that this scenario is the most advantageous for students, given the health constraints educational institutions are facing to ensure the health and safety of the members of their community, especially with regard to the current physical distancing guidelines from the public health authorities.

In fact, it has multiple advantages:

  • Teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as other professional staff members, will be able to offer better support to students to foster retention and academic success. The relationship between the institution and each member of the school community will be established or maintained, and a sense of belonging to their school will be preserved for students. These are important factors especially for new students.
  • In-person educational activities will help break the isolation for members of the school community and diminish the mental health concerns some of them are facing.
  • The variety of educational methods provides an improved balance between personal life and school and may contribute to school retention among students.
  • The scenario also offers professors and teachers a certain leeway in planning their educational activities based on the teaching method they deem most appropriate with regard to their students' learning.

Educational institutions must show flexibility in planning the fall 2020 term by respecting all guidelines issued by the Direction générale de la santé publique (DGSP), especially with regard to the 1.5-metre physical distancing rule between students who are seated in rooms during learning activities, such as during class, or the 2-metre physical distancing rule between individuals in other cases. The use of personal protective equipment during activities where physical distancing rules cannot be followed is required in laboratories and during other practical activities.

Institutions have already taken action and are busy preparing for the fall term. Various measures will be implemented by educational institutions to ensure the health and safety of students and staff members on campus, especially with regard to the layout of rooms, laboratories and common areas (cafeterias, hallways, libraries, etc.). These measures are currently being implemented to offer students the best possible experience this fall, despite the current constraints.

Colleges and universities have taken all the necessary steps during the winter term to ensure that the inability to access campuses and the transition toward distance learning have as few repercussions as possible on students' educational paths and the certification of studies.  This will also be the case for the fall term.  The higher education network will adapt to ensure students' academic success.

No, this scenario will have no impact on the Loans and Bursaries Program. Regular rules concerning financial assistance apply, but the situation will be monitored closely and any necessary changes will be made.

Educational institutions

If you or your child experience skin irritation or an allergic or inflammatory reaction when you wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, please stop using the product. Use soap and water to wash your hands instead. Frequent handwashing and washing your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can dry out the skin. To prevent dry skin, it is recommended that you use moisturizer on your hands every day. If the skin irritation or reactions persist, you should see a doctor.

The measures put in place in the French sector will also apply in the English sector.

School organization will be based on public health recommendations, which are constantly evolving and can vary from region to region.

Each school will take measures to respect the physical distancing recommendation of maintaining at least 2 metres between students. Where possible while following this recommendation, each group can have a maximum of 15 students.

A variety of means can be used for groups where more than 15 students wish to return to school, such as reforming different groups of students at the same grade level, with each group staying in the same classroom until the end of the school year while respecting the 2-metre rule between individuals, for example.

Visitors will not be allowed to enter the school.

The premises will be subject to regular, appropriate maintenance to ensure their cleanliness. Efforts will be made to raise awareness about proper handwashing and respiratory hygiene.

Hygiene and sanitation measures are being implemented in schools, as per public health recommendations.

No, wearing a mask is not compulsory. However, the government has confirmed that face coverings may be provided to teachers who request them.

Measures will also be taken by each educational institution to comply with the physical distancing rule of maintaining 2 metres between students.

Students or staff members with symptoms of COVID-19 must not enter the school. Any person who receives a diagnosis of COVID-19 must comply with a 14-day isolation period.

No. Like the rest of the population, students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must stay at home and contact a health care professional. A Self-Care Guide with information on the necessary steps to take has been made available to Quebecers. More information on the health guidelines to follow, especially who to contact in order to get tested, is available on Québec.ca.

Being present on the school premises is not recommended for staff members who are vulnerable for health reasons (chronic disease, severe immunodeficiency, pregnancy or aged 70 or older). For health and safety reasons, these staff members are encouraged to delay their return to school until September 2020.

Anyone who presents symptoms associated with COVID-19 must immediately leave the school premises, call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the instructions they are given. Pedagogical support will be provided to students during their absence from school.

Student advancement to the next grade level will be determined by the students’ evaluations carried out before schools closed on March 13. In addition, teachers are asked to determine the students’ results for the last report card based on their knowledge of the students’ acquired learning. 

No matter the level, schools must plan for a review period at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

No. The ministerial examinations will not be administered. Students were unable to acquire all the learning targeted by the programs of study because of the health crisis that caused educational services to be suspended for a considerable amount of time.

The government can, if the circumstances warrant it, cancel an examination and use the marks awarded by the school as a final grade. Due to the current exceptional circumstances, the ministerial examinations will be cancelled, and the school results will be taken into account in the awarding of diplomas. Students will move up to the next grade level based on the teachers’ professional judgment and the students’ previous results on the first two report cards.

Non-essential activities like infrastructure sharing are temporarily interrupted in order to slow the spread of the virus, as a public health measure. Related activities such as room rentals as well as sports and cultural activities are also targeted by the closure.

Educational childcare services

Educational childcare services

Since Monday, June 22, establishments located outside the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal This hyperlink will open in a new window. (In French only) (Montréal metropolitan community, CMM), the regional county municipality (MRC) of Joliette This hyperlink will open in a new window. and the municipality of  L'Épiphanie have been able to deliver childcare services to 100 % of the maximum number of children indicated on their permit.  Home childcare providers (HCPs) have also been able to accept their usual number of children.   

For childcare establishments located in the CMM, the RCM of Joliette and the municipality of L’Épiphanie, their facilities have been able to deliver services to 75 % of the maximum number of children indicated on their permit. HCPs may accept five children if the service provider works alone and seven children if an assistant is present. If the evolving epidemiological situation allows, these childcare services may move on to the last phase of the plan for the gradual re-opening of services and may accept 100% of the maximum allowable number of children, as of July 13, 2020.

Registering children for childcare services is done the usual way, through the single-window access to recognized childcare services, La Place 0-5 This hyperlink will open in a new window.

Educational childcare services

Parent users will have to pay the parental contribution according to the usual rates. Use of childcare services remains voluntary. 

Children who do not return to their childcare service right away will  keep their space until September 1, 2020.  

All parents who wish to keep their child’s space will be asked to pay the usual parental contribution as soon as the re-opening allows childcare services to attain 100% occupancy, namely, since June 22 in cold zones and probably as of July 13, 2020 in hot zones, depending on how the public health situation evolves. This applies to both subsidized and non-subsidized childcare services. 

Parents are encouraged to get in touch with their childcare facility to discuss arrangements for their child’s return.

Information published by the CNESST does not specifically forbid individuals aged 70 or older from continuing to work. It may be inferred from this that individuals who are under the age of 70 and in good health could lend a helping hand and look after children to allow parents to return to work.

Needless to say, the necessary health measures must be applied, especially with regard to physical distancing and proper hand hygiene for both the children and their grandparents.

However, if a child experiences one or more symptoms associated with COVID-19, all contact between the child and the grandparents should be avoided.

To promote healthy social interaction among children and considering advances made in scientific literature in recent weeks, the government is abolishing the rule requiring physical distancing between children, and between children and the educators. However, to ensure everyone’s health and safety, basic rules of hygiene such as healthy respiratory practices, proper disinfection and hand washing must always be followed as well as maintaining personal protective equipment.

Health recommendations for everyone must be followed at all times.

If someone needs a babysitter for their children and does not have access to day care or their children cannot return to school, you may do so. The following conditions apply:

  • you are in good health,
  • no one has symptoms of fever, cough, difficulty breathing or sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose, with or without loss of taste,
  • no one has been told to self-isolate,
  • none of the children in the family go to school,
  • you do not live with someone who is at risk (e.g., chronically ill or 70 years of age or older).

As far as possible, physical contact between children must be limited and you will have to maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from the children you are babysitting. If you must be in contact with children within 2 metres (e.g. infants), wear a face covering and wash your hands before and after taking the children. Regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and items, such as door handles, light switches, faucet handles, etc. Clean bathrooms more frequently. Clean toys frequently, especially toys that children might put in their mouth. If you have been in close contact with children, change your clothes when you return home or when children leaves. Follow the health recommendations for everyone. In a daycare setting, in order to promote healthy social interactions among children and based on advances in the scientific literature in recent weeks, the government is now allowing the abolition of the distancing rule between children and between children and their educators. However, the 2-metre distance between adults is still in effect and the basic health recommendations must continue to be followed at all times.

Management of educational childcare services

Yes, but the only reason that a director of a childcare facility may deny access to a child, apart from intake capacity, is if the parent and/or child have contracted COVID-19 or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus.

Please refer to the Guide pour la gestion des cas et des contacts de COVID-19 en service de garde (préscolaire) This hyperlink will open in a new window.(In French only) for more details.

Progressing from one phase to another is done in accordance with the Direction générale de la santé publique (DGSP). If demand exceeds the number of spaces recommended by the DGSP, priority will be given to parents who work in priority sectors and activities, but for whom working from home is not an option.

Educational childcare personnel

Childcare services personnel must apply the infection control protocols they already use during respiratory infection season. Therefore:

  • They must ensure that sick children are not admitted into the childcare facility and they must count on the parents’ close cooperation in this matter.
  • They must isolate a sick child from other children and ask the parents to come and pick up the child without delay. They must then absolutely wear personal protective equipment.

For more information:

If a child who attended the childcare facility has tested positive for COVID-19, the first thing to do is to call your regional public health branch (if it has not already contacted you). The regional public health branch will investigate and apply the necessary measures to take care of each of the sick child’s contacts (staff, children and close family).

Day camps

Yes, the gouvernement du Québec has authorized the opening of day camps, starting June 22.

However, municipalities and organizations in charge of running day camps will have to plan activities that comply with the distance rule and ensure that increased hygiene measures are applied.

To learn the mandatory health measures to be put in place in day camps, please consult the following tools:

Since these camps require the application of additional measures with which it would be difficult to comply, the opening of this type of camp has been postponed until the summer of 2021. 

Yes, in order to provide additional respite for families and caregivers, these camps with accommodations can be opened during the summer of 2020.

Guidelines have been developed by the Association des camps du Québec (ACQ), the Association québécoise du loisir municipal, and the Association québécoise du loisir pour les personnes handicapées in collaboration with the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and the ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur. They can be consulted online on the Association des camps du Québec website This hyperlink will open in a new window. (French only).

Mandatory online training will be offered to all staff throughout Québec, and activities (in French only)  will be provided for counselors on the ACQ's mobile application PEP ton jeu This hyperlink will open in a new window.  (PEP your game).

Higher education

College- and university-level teaching activities will continue at a distance for the Summer 2020 term, until September, except in the case of practical training that cannot be carried out remotely and that is necessary to enable students to continue their studies in order to graduate. 

Research activities in colleges, in the Centres collégiaux de transfert de technologie and in universities may resume. Accordingly, research activities related to the health, science, agriculture, forestry and engineering sectors, as well as vital seasonal outdoor activities, the resumption of which is urgently awaited, may now begin. The resumption of activities in all other research sectors should also be considered if these sectors are directly related to the collective effort to relaunch the economy. 

Moreover, institutions of higher education may resume any activity they deem necessary and may authorize some of their employees to return to the workplace. Whenever possible, remote work must still be the preferred approach when resuming these activities.

All of the above is conditional upon compliance with the guidelines issued by the competent authorities, namely the Direction de santé publique, the CNESST and the IRSST.

If internship settings have confirmed the continuation of the internship, the students’ workplace respects the guidelines issued by the public health authority, and the students are able to complete the internship, for example, by working remotely, then internships are possible. However, students cannot be penalized for their inability to meet requirements.

It is up to each institution to establish learning and evaluation procedures it deems appropriate in order to ensure that students develop the competencies required to complete their program of study and to graduate. Students should not be penalized for their inability to complete their program through alternative means developed by their institution.

Compiling of a list of students and materials

Students may collect their personal effects once they have been invited to do so by the administration of the institution and in compliance with the hygiene measures issued by the Direction de Santé publique.

Access to educational institutions

This is an exceptional procedure that aims to meet the most urgent needs of students, teachers and professors. The Ministère will not establish specific categories; rather, it will call upon institutions to identify the persons concerned as well as the order of priority. 

Exceptionally, and for this purpose only, each institution must establish an adapted procedure that ensures compliance with physical distancing guidelines, particularly by tightly controlling the number of people who can access the institution’s premises. Anyone accessing a building on the institution’s premises must wash their hands upon entering and leaving. Students must be supervised when moving about the premises in order to minimize any risks. 

The administration must establish a precise schedule in order to control the number of people present at any given time and to ensure that necessary services are available to students and teachers with special needs. If necessary, the administration may contact its regional public health agency to obtain further information.

These guidelines must be followed at all times:

  • Handwashing is mandatory when entering a building.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained and there must be no contact between individuals.
  • Students cannot be accompanied by another person.
  • Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms must be excluded from this operation.

International students

The modifications to the different administrative procedures announced for educational institutions apply to both Québec and international students. It is recommended that any information that may be of interest on this page be consulted as it pertains to all students.

International students will be entitled to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit This hyperlink will open in a new window. (CERB) if they meet the program eligibility criteria, particularly:

  • Have declared an income of at least $5000, earned in Canada or outside the country, during the last fiscal year or during the 12 months prior to their application. Applicants must be Canadian residents.
  • Have stopped working in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, without having left their employment voluntarily. Thus, they are not eligible if they stopped working before the crisis began.

No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.

The repatriation of foreign nationals is usually the responsibility of their country of origin.

No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.

No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.

However, the Ministère has encouraged educational institutions to offer special support and possibly implement measures to help international students who may find themselves in a precarious situation.

International students will be able to leave Canada based on available flights or may choose to stay in Canada if they have yet to complete their studies, provided that their immigration documents are in order.

Institutions are encouraged to continue processing all applications so as to not delay the subsequent steps required for international students to begin their studies at the chosen institution.

International students must have a valid Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and study permit when they begin their classes. To obtain these documents, students must have a proof of admission.

Note that international students are not required to obtain a CAQ and a study permit prior to starting a program of study through distance education while they are not residing in Canada. However, they will need to obtain these documents before being authorized to enter the country to complete their program in person, as needed.

International students can attend distance courses, just like Québec students.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not announced the automatic renewal of temporary residency permits. Students are asked to submit a request for renewal before the date on which their permit expires. If students meet this condition, they are granted “implied status,” meaning that their current temporary residency is maintained until a decision is made regarding their application. International students are requested not to go to border crossings in an attempt to renew their immigration documents. The most up-to-date information is usually published by the federal government This hyperlink will open in a new window..

The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) is extending, until December 31, 2020, the minister’s consent for the duration of the stay in Québec of international students whose Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies expires as of April 30, 2020 and before December 31, 2020. This regulation applies to students whose CAQ had not already expired on April 30, 2020.

Temporary residents must maintain valid temporary resident status at all times. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’intégration (MIFI) continues to process applications for temporary selection.

Students who were already studying in Canada and whose courses were moved online due to the travel restrictions and public health measures introduced because of COVID-19 will not be penalized and will retain their eligibility for the PGWPP, including the length of the work permit to which they would be entitled. However, these students must continue at least 50 % of their program of study in Canada to be eligible for the PGWPP.

The IRCC has introduced a new temporary policy for students who currently hold a study permit or who were approved for a study permit for a program set to begin in May or June 2020, but who are unable to enter Canada due to the current travel restrictions. If courses of study are delivered online exceptionally because of COVID-19, the eligibility of these students for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) will not be affected. International students in this situation can begin their courses from outside Canada and complete up to 50% of their program from outside the country if they cannot travel to Canada earlier.

international students are not required to obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and a study permit to study through distance education. However, they will need to obtain these documents before being authorized to enter the country to complete their program in person, as needed.

It is important to note that students whose study permits were issued no later than March 18, 2020, are exempt from the travel restrictions in place in Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window. and are therefore allowed to enter the country. However, they must not be experiencing any symptoms prior to boarding their flight and must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon their arrival.

For information on health protection, foreign nationals can refer to the Questions and answers about our services during the pandemic page on the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec website This hyperlink will open in a new window., specifically the following sections:

  • COVID-19: Information and screening – What coverage does Québec provide for COVID-19 screening and care? 
  • Foreign workers and students in Québec: health insurance coverage

The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) is extending, until December 31, 2020, the minister’s consent for the duration of the stay in Québec of international students whose Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies expires as of April 30, 2020 and before December 31, 2020. This regulation applies to students whose CAQ had not already expired on April 30, 2020.

This decision is intended to facilitate the steps that must be taken by inernational students who were in the process of completing their study program but who must extend their stay in Québec due to the current health state of emergency and the temporary interruption of their courses.

These students can therefore submit an application to the federal government as soon as possible to have their study permit extended without having to include a new CAQ, which will allow them to maintain valid temporary residence status and to complete their study program when their courses resume.

No, international students will not have to pay any fees for extending their CAQ, since the required fees were already paid when they submitted their application for the CAQ that they obtained.

International students who would like to extend their stay in Québec for studies beyond December 31, 2020, in order to complete a study program or to begin a new program in the fall 2020 semester, must submit a new application for a CAQ for studies to the MIFI and a new application for a study permit to the federal government. In all cases, students should start the required immigration procedures at least three months before their current authorization for studies expires.

International students who have earned their degree can submit an application for permanent selection under the PEQ if they have been awarded, by an educational institution in Québec, within three years of the date of submission of their application, one of the following:

  • a university diploma attesting to a bachelor’s, a master’s or a doctoral degree
  • a college diploma for technical studies or a vocational diploma at the secondary level, with or without attestation of vocational specialization, obtained consecutively, attesting to 1800 hours or more of consecutive study and leading to a trade

The Ministère accepts attestations of successful completion of a study program as well as a final transcripts issued by the registrar of the educational institution. Since the programs admissible under the PEQ must have a minimum duration of 1800 hours, these graduates can obtain a three-year post-graduation work permit. The duration of this permit gives them all the time they need to submit an application for permanent selection under the PEQ as graduates or even as temporary foreign workers.

The federal government is responsible for issuing study permits. If you have any questions about study permits, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Student financial assistance

All Explore 2020 spring and summer sessions have been cancelled.

Financial assistance will continue to be available for students whose period of studies may be lengthened.

For the moment, the student financial assistance program has not been modified. Payments will continue to be issued.

The income taken into account when calculating the 2019-2020 financial assistance is that of the 2019 calendar year. For that reason, any fluctuations in the students’ income in 2020 are not considered for 2019-2020. In some cases, they may, however, affect the calculations for 2020-2021. The government has announced that it will be postponing repayment of any loans incurred under the Loans and Bursaries Program and the Loans Program for Part-Time Studies for a period of six months.

The Loans and Bursaries Program already accounts for the financial needs of people who are caring for children. Students who have lost their jobs due to the current situation may apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

The Minister of Education and Higher Education is currently studying the best ways to increase the amount of financial assistance awarded to students in Québec and is collaborating with the federal government to ensure financing. Announcements to student associations are planned in the coming weeks to prepare for a rollout in Fall 2020.

No, the government has announced that repayments of all loans contracted under the Loans and Bursaries Program and the Loans for Part-Time Studies Program are postponed for a period of six months. The government will pay the interest.

No payments are expected during this period. You do not have to take any steps or provide any proof to benefit from this exceptional measure, since it applies automatically to anyone who has incurred a debt with Aide financière aux études.

No. The government will pay the interest. Students are not required to make any payments during this period.

Yes. Contact your financial institution. They will tell you what steps to follow.

No. The government has made arrangements with all partner financial institutions to automatically postpone the repayment plan. People who have contracted student loans do not have to take any action.

No. Your financial institution will automatically extend the amortization period for your loan by six months and your monthly payments will remain the same.

Yes. This measure applies to all outstanding amounts, whether owed to a financial institution or in collection with Aide financière aux études. 

For the next six months, you will not be required to make repayments of your student loan.

Your Deferred Payment Plan is also suspended for six months.

After this postponement ends, your Deferred Payment Plan will continue for the rest of the time remaining in it.

No. This postponement is not included in the 60 months of eligibility for the Deferred Payment Plan.

No. This postponement applies only to student loans contracted under a program offered by the Aide financière aux études department of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.

If you have questions about lines of credit and other student loans offered by your financial institution, please contact the staff there directly.

Children in shared custody

There is no single response. We are appealing to the parents’ collaboration and good judgment.

When a change of custody seems necessary, ensure that each family has abided by the hygiene instructions issued by public health authorities. Court judgments and orders must also be observed.

For any specific situation, you can call the Clinique d’assistance juridique COVID-19 established by the Ministère de la Justice du Québec and the Barreau du Québec at 1-866-699-9729 (toll free).

Several situations may occur during this pandemic:

  • One of the parents tests positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms;
  • Someone in the family’s circle tests positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms;
  • The child tests positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms;
  • One of the parents, the child or someone in the family’s circle has to self-isolate after a trip abroad.

In these cases, 14-day self-isolation is required to contain the spread of the virus. During this period, the child will not be able to move from one home to another if someone on one side or the other is in self-isolation. The goal is to contain the spread of the virus.

If you’re worried about the precautionary measures taken by the other parent but none of the above situations apply, it’s best to discuss among yourselves to attempt to remedy the situation.

Previous agreements, whether a custody or access order or an agreement between the parents, for instance following family mediation, should be complied with to the greatest extent possible. However, given the current situation, everyone should use common sense and follow the public health recommendations.

Everyone has a part to play in reducing the spread of the virus and should collaborate and follow the health recommendations. This also applies to separated parents and families where the child may have to move from one household to another.

Children have essential needs, which can include having access to both parents and being sheltered from tension between parents.

If there is a disagreement, parents can call on a family mediator to facilitate discussion and work on resolving the conflict. Many mediators work remotely, which helps avoid physical contact and maintain distancing measures. 

Some mediation sessions can even be free depending on your situation.

For more information about mediation, mediation costs or to find a mediator, visit the following section in the Ministère de la Justice’s website: « Family mediation - Negotiating a fair agreement This hyperlink will open in a new window. ».

If a child needs both parents, we recommend making communication possible through technological means (Skype, Facetime, etc.) for the duration of the crisis.

The custody or access order should be complied with as much as possible. However, during this pandemic, you can try to work out new terms with the other parent to minimize travel.

The custody or access order should be complied with as much as possible. However, during this pandemic, people are asked to limit travel between regions as much as possible. You can try to work out new terms with the other parent to minimize travel and agree to maintain contact through technological means.

If the change of custody involves travel to a health region where travel restrictions have been implemented, the parent must explain to the police officers that he or she is carrying out a change of custody or exercising an access right. Travel should be permitted whether the custody or access right was granted by Court order or pursuant to an agreement.

You can call on a family mediator to facilitate discussion and work on reaching an agreement. Many mediators work remotely, which helps avoid contact. You can find a list of accredited mediators This hyperlink will open in a new window. on the MJQ’s website.

he healthcare system is taking the necessary measures to protect its staff.

Public transit services are still running and are essential for people such as healthcare and social service workers to commute to their jobs. 

Québec transit companies have increased the maintenance frequency of their vehicles and installations. Commuters are still encouraged to follow health recommendations and keep two metres apart whenever possible.

Commuters are also encouraged to adjust their commuting schedule if possible to reduce crowding during peak hours.

Decisions About a Child’s Return to School During the Public Health Emergency

Both parents have parental authority unless they have been deprived of parental rights. There are two types of decisions: important decisions and everyday decisions.

Important decisions are those that concern the child’s health (e.g., medical care), choice of school, religion, etc. Parents must consult each other before making important decisions affecting their child’s life, regardless of the custody type. 

These decisions must be made by both parents. In case of a disagreement, the issue is decided by the court.

Everyday decisions are made by the parent with whom the child is staying that day. They include things like bedtime hours, food and participation in school activities.

Allowing a child to go back to school for the remainder of the year in the context of the pandemic is an important decision that must be made by both parents. 

It is an important decision given the health risks that can arise from the child continuing to see both parents in two different environments. For instance, fear of contagion can be warranted for a parent who has a pre-existing medical condition. Sending a child to school in this context could prevent a parent with a medical condition from exercising their custody rights.

Both parents must therefore agree on whether their child should return to school during the public health emergency.

Parents who can’t come to an agreement could seek the help of a family mediator.

For more information about mediation, mediation costs or to find a mediator, please visit the Family mediation - Negotiating a fair agreement This hyperlink will open in a new window. page on the Ministère de la Justice’s website.

Alternatively, as with other issues relating to important decisions that fall under parental authority, the parents could take their disagreement to court.

Support Payments

You can try to reach an agreement with your ex-spouse by using the Child Support Payments Calculation Tool This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, parents who have information about their income can call on a family mediator to facilitate discussion and work on reaching an agreement. Many mediators work remotely, which helps avoid direct contact between people. 

Certain mediation sessions may be free depending on your situation.

For more information about mediation, mediation costs or to find a mediator, please visit the section on mediation in the Ministère de la Justice website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

A judgment is necessary to modify the support payments collected by Revenu Québec. You can obtain it by using the Homologation Assistance Service (HAS) This hyperlink will open in a new window. The modified judgment will be transmitted to Revenu Québec, which will then adjust the amount collected and paid.

Recipients of last resort assistance who are creditors of support must inform the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité Sociale whether they wish to reach an agreement to cancel, reduce or suspend the support payments. In the context of an HAS application, the creditor who receives last resort assistance must send a support application notice at least 10 days before submitting the agreement.

All proceedings before the Superior Court instituted by a party who receives last resort assistance to cancel, reduce or suspend support payments must be notified to the Attorney General of Québec.

Once your financial situation has stabilized, this amount must be reviewed as it is parents’ responsibility to make sure that the support payments are up to date based on both parents’ income.

For this calculation, annual income is income from all sources and includes: 

  • wages, salaries and other remuneration; 
  • net income from the operation of a business or self-employment; 
  • employment insurance and parental insurance benefits; 
  • personal support payments from another person; 
  • interest, taxable amounts of dividends and other investment income; 
  • net rental income; 
  • benefits paid under other legislation as part of a pension or compensation plan; 
  • other income. 

Annual income includes all the income received by each parent, except the following amounts, which are not considered to be annual income and therefore are not used in calculating disposable income:  

  • family-related government transfers (child assistance payments, Canada Child Benefit (CCB), etc.); 
  • amounts received under the Work Premium program; 
  • last resort financial assistance (welfare) benefits; 
  • amounts granted under a financial assistance program for education expenses managed by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport.

Child support is determined based on both parents’ income. In the Child Support Determination Form, parents must enter their income for the current year or, if applicable, their foreseeable income for the next 12 months. However, during this pandemic, many parents find it hard to foresee their income for the next 12 months. 

The Canadian government has announced various measures to help individuals obtain financial assistance quickly. They include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses. For more information on these measures, see Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Yes, once your income situation has stabilized, it will be possible to ask for a support payment review for the period during which your income was reduced.

If the payments are collected by Revenu Québec, a judgment that clearly indicates the periods covered by the adjustment must be obtained. For instance, support payments will be reduced for a few months before returning to normal.

You can use the Homologation Assistance Service (HAS) This hyperlink will open in a new window. to obtain this judgment following an agreement with your ex-spouse or family mediation.

You can find information on the following websites:

You can call Info-Social 811 (free psychosocial hotline open 24/7):

Call Info-Social 811 if you are experiencing:

  • stress, anxiety;
  • prolonged emotional reactions (frequent crying, irritability, etc.);
  • feelings of panic;
  • overwhelming and frightening thoughts that won’t go away;
  • social repercussions from the illness.

Psychosocial intervention professionals will provide support and give you advice and information based on your needs.

Guidelines for citizens on how to manage their residual materials

Refund activities resumed on June 8 throughout Québec, except on the Island of Montréal, where they resumed on June 22.

Citizens are asked to cooperate to prevent these containers from ending up in the trash.

Put off your visits to the ecocentre or other drop-off site until later. In the meantime, avoid putting the materials or items in the trash.

At home, used tissues, gloves, masks, disposable wipes, and other protective products or cleaners that are potentially contaminated should be placed in a sealed bag and then in a closed waste container. These materials should not be placed in recycling or organic collection bins or flushed down the toilet.

Away from home, if you use tissues, gloves, masks, wipes or other protective products or cleaners, please throw them in the trash after you have finished using them or take them home and dispose of them properly.