Organisation of Higher Education Activities in 2020-2021

Each institution has the necessary authority to determine the conditions for in-person educational activities, provided that these activities respect the current health guidelines.

Each educational institution is responsible for applying the guidelines pertaining to the alerte level in which it is located to all the various facilities on campus.

Planning the back-to-school period of higher education for fall 2021

The back-to-school period is expected to be in person provided that the target is met: 75% of individuals aged 16 to 29 must have received two doses of the vaccine prior to the Fall term and the epidemiological conditions must permit it.

On-campus student life is expected to return to normal without any physical distancing between students, whether in classrooms or in common areas.

Face coverings or procedural masks may still be required; however, clarification in this regard should be available in the coming weeks. Other health measures will also be determined based on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.

The evolution of the pandemic and the progress of the vaccination of individuals aged 16 to 29 will be closely monitored between now and the back-to-school period.

Institutions of higher education must develop a contingency plan that can be quickly implemented in the event that the epidemiological situation deteriorates.

The back-to-school plan takes into account several factors, and the targets identified by the public health authorities are intended to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff members. Health guidelines will be quickly adjusted should the health situation deteriorate.

Moreover, institutions must be prepared to implement a contingency plan in the event that physical distancing between students becomes necessary. This plan can be fully or partially implemented, as needed.

The back-to-school plan takes into account several factors, and the targets identified by the public health authorities are intended to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff members. Work is also being carried out in collaboration with the CNESST. Health guidelines will be quickly adjusted should the health situation deteriorate. The recommendations for workers will be adjusted according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation and the progress of the vaccination rate, based on scientific evidence and in collaboration with the CNESST.

Moreover, institutions must be prepared to implement a contingency plan in the event that physical distancing between students becomes necessary. This plan can be fully or partially implemented, as needed.

Educational childcare services

Since Monday, July 13, 2020, all childcare establishments in Québec have been allowed to deliver childcare services to 100% of the maximum number of children indicated on their permit. Home childcare providers (HCPs) can also once again deliver services to the regular number of children permitted under the recognition they have obtained.

Whenever possible, a distance of two metres must be kept between adults (that is, between educators themselves and between educators and parents) and between adults and children. However, this distance is not required between children in the same group, or between children and educators in the same group (maximum of 10 children). Measures must be taken to minimize contact between groups.

For tasks that require being less than two metres away from children or other adults for a cumulative time of more than 15 minutes a day, educators and all other staff members must wear a high-quality medical procedure mask and eye protection (protective glasses or visor).

To ensure everyone’s health and safety, basic health rules such as respiratory hygiene (e.g. coughing into your elbow) and hand washing must always be followed.

Health recommendations applicable for everyone must be followed at all times.

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

The symptoms to look for are: difficulty breathing, fever, cough (new or worse), shortness of breath, sore throat, sudden loss of sense of smell without nasal congestion (with or without a loss of taste), major fatigue, significant loss of appetite, general muscle pain (not related to physical exertion), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach aches and headaches (for children 6 and older).

Students who attend an educational childcare service or school daycare service and who have one or more of these symptoms must stay home and avoid contact with others.

For children between 6 and 17 years old, the parent must immediately use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the instructions given to determine whether their child must be tested or can return to school.

For children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, the parent must wait 24 hours before assessing the evolution of the symptoms. After this 24‑hour observation period, the parent can use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the instructions given to determine whether the child must be tested or can return to the childcare facility.

If a child is required to be tested, all other people living in the household must also self-isolate, even if they do not have symptoms, until the child’s test results are received, at which point the instructions provided must be followed. 

Management of educational childcare services

Yes. The reasons for which the director of a childcare facility may refuse entry to a child, apart from the limitations of the facility’s intake capacity, are the fact that the child presents one or more symptoms of COVID-19, that he or she (or a person living in the same home) has tested positive for COVID-19, that he or she (or a person living in the same home) is awaiting a COVID-19 test result, or that the child has travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days.

A child who has COVID-19 symptoms (PDF 273 Kb) must remain at home and avoid contact with other people. The observation period for assessing the development of the child’s symptoms still applies for children in a childcare establishment.

After this 24-hour observation period, the parent may use the COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the guidelines given to find out whether his or her child must be tested or can return to the childcare establishment.

If the child needs to be tested, all the people living in the same home must also self-isolate, even if they do not have any symptoms, at least until the test results have been obtained, and then follow the instructions that will be given to them.

If the child tests positive for COVID-19, the Direction de santé publique, with the help of the childcare centre’s director and staff, will identify any people with whom there was close contact at the centre. Depending on the risk level, these contacts will be informed and provided with instructions on what to do.

Please consult the document COVID-19 procedure to follow in educational childcare centres (PDF 617 Kb) for more details.

If, before arriving or upon arriving at the childcare facility, a child presents one or more of the symptoms listed below, the facility must make sure that 24 hours have passed since the symptoms first appeared (observation period for development of the symptoms) and that the parent used the COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or call 1-877-644-4545 and followed the instructions given. If this is not the case, the child must not be allowed into the facility.

Fever

  • Children between 0 and 5 years old:
    • Rectal temperature of 38.5°C (101.3°F) or higher
  • Children 6 years old and over:
    • Oral temperature of 38.1°C (100.6°F) or higher

General symptoms

  • Sudden loss of smell with no stuffy nose, with or without loss of taste
  • Intense fatigue
  • Significant loss of appetite
  • Generalized muscle pain (not related to physical exertion)

Respiratory symptoms

  • Cough (new or worsening)
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat

Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach aches

The childcare establishment must recommend that the parent keep the child at home and that the child avoid contact with other people. The observation period for assessing the development of the child’s symptoms still applies for children in a childcare establishment. After this 24-hour observation period, the parent may use the COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the guidelines provided to see if their child should be tested or can return to his or her childcare centre.

If the child needs to be tested, all the people living in the same home must also self-isolate, even if they do not have any symptoms, at least until the test results have been obtained, and then follow the instructions that will be given to them.

If the child exhibits one or more of the above symptoms when he or she is already present in the facility, the educator or HCP must isolate the child from the other children in a room reserved for this purpose until the parent can come to pick him or her up.

For more information about the measures that childcare facilities must follow when a child presents COVID-19 symptoms, refer to the following documents:

Educational childcare personnel

Childcare services personnel must apply the infection prevention and control protocol that is used at all times:

  • they must ensure that sick children are not allowed into the childcare facility and must enlist the parents’ close cooperation in this regard;
  • they must isolate a sick child from the other children and ask the parents to come and pick the child up as soon as possible; they must absolutely wear personal protective equipment in this situation;
  • if a case is confirmed to be positive for COVID-19, tighter measures must be taken.

If, before arriving or upon arriving at the childcare facility, an educator or any other person working in the facility shows symptoms resembling those of COVID-19, this person must not be allowed into the facility. He or she must use the 

After this 24-hour observation period, the parent may use the COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the guidelines given to find out whether he or she must be tested or can return to the childcare centre.

For the measures that childcare establishments should follow when a person (an educator or other staff member) shows symptoms of COVID-19, refer to the following documents:

If a child who has attended a childcare facility has tested positive for COVID-19, the regional public health branch of the DSPG will investigate and take the necessary measures to take charge of each of the sick child’s contacts (childcare staff, other children and close family).

International students

These students can use the Clic Santé portal This hyperlink will open in a new window. to book an appointment or to register the COVID19 vaccines they received outside Québec in the Québec Vaccination Registry. All they need is a Québec address.

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..

The organization Accueil Plus offers a wealth of information to guide you in pursuing your studies in Québec, notably with regard to entering the country in the current context. Refer to the following section on the organization’s website This hyperlink will open in a new window. to access the available information. Note that Accueil Plus is a trusted partner of the Québec government.

Student financial assistance

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 Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur is investing an additional $375 million to support students and institutions of higher learning. Improvements will enter into force in the coming weeks. Adjustments will be made to applications that have already been submitted.

Custody Orders and Changes of 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.

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.

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.

In this case, an application can be brought before the Superior Court.

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

Deposit-refund activities are continuing. The cooperation of citizens is requested to ensure that these containers don’t end 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.