The government has announced new rules for schools in Quebec's red zones. From October 8 to October 28, masks will be mandatory in all areas of secondary schools, including in classrooms and outside. 

The rules won't apply to elementary schools, however, and will be re-evaluated at the end of the month. 

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We are not happy to announce these new restrictions recommended by public health authorities. However, it is a sacrifice we must make.

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge

Teachers and staff will also have to wear masks everywhere, including the staff rooms.

"To limit physical contacts," Education Minister Jean-François Roberge also introduced a "hybrid" system for students in Secondary 4 and 5, meaning that they'll have one day off, one day on in schools.

Red zone schools will also have to "revert to a single stable class group at all times," according to a statement. "Extracurricular and inter-school activities and field trips will be suspended."

Roberge said he's not happy to announce these new rules, but said they're necessary to keep schools open.

"I implore the citizens of the areas concerned and of all of Quebec to respect the instructions and limit their social contacts as much as possible," he said.

"Our children deserve that we redouble our efforts."

The new regulations begin on Thursday, October 8. 

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