No in-person learning after the break until at least January 10.
As part of a long list of new Quebec COVID-19 rules, high school, cegep and university students won't return to in-person learning until January 10 following their winter breaks.
High schools previously scheduled to reopen in the week of January 3 will have to return to remote learning between then and January 10, Premier François Legault said.
Cegeps and universities previously scheduled to resume classes after January 10 following the winter break will of course be able to stick to those dates.
Elementary schools, meanwhile, will reopen as scheduled, even if that's before January 10. Legault said keeping elementary schools open has been a priority for his government and, moreover, that in-person attendance supports the vaccination campaign for children.
Among the other new health measures announced Thursday is a 50% capacity limit in bars, restaurants, stores and other venues, as well as a ban on karaoke and dancing. These rules will take effect on Monday, December 20.
The government is also cancelling plans to expand private gathering capacity to 20 fully-vaccinated people as of December 23. Instead, Quebecers will only be able to have a total of 10 people in their homes for the upcoming holidays.
"I know Quebecers are sick of this," Legault said at a press conference.
"Since the start, for 21 months, Quebec has been one of the places where the restrictions have been the most severe. We’re going to continue to do this. We’ll continue to make sure we react quickly. We put our pride aside."
National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda also sympathized with burnt-out residents.
"We do understand that people are tired," he added.
"The problem is the virus is not tired and it's coming back. And this is a problem and it's the epidemiology that makes us take those decisions that we don't like. We would prefer to be in another situation, but the virus is still fighting us."