COVID-19: schools and shopping centers closed until May 1

The return to class, which was scheduled for March 30, has been postponed to May 1 and the exams of the ministry are canceled, announced François Legault on Sunday.
The Prime Minister also took advantage of his daily press briefing to harden certain measures to better fight COVID-19. He ordered the closure of all shopping centers, dining restaurants and hair salons and beauty of midnight, and until 1 st May

Mr. Legault was exceptionally accompanied on Sunday by his Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge. Together, they announced that the Ministry of Education will soon provide parents with a list of exercises – optional – to help children continue “some learning”. Capsules could also be prepared with Télé-Québec.

Departmental reviews

Examinations of the Ministry, which cater to students from 4 th and 6 th grade, and 2 th , 4 th and 5 th secondary, will be canceled this year. Normally, they are used to assess students’ learning in French, mathematics, history, English and science at key points in their training.

“I want to reassure everyone. Regardless of the scenario, it is believed that the vast majority of children will be able to move to the next level, “said Mr. Legault. Only children who have experienced “great difficulties” during the year will not be automatically promoted to the next level, said Minister Roberge.

Until then, there is no question of “transforming all Quebec parents into teachers and all houses into schools,” he added.

“We want to make life easier for families, 1 / 8ne3 / 8 not to complicate the lives of people who are already in quarantine, who sometimes have to telecommute and babysit their children.”

From March 30, the Ministry of Education will put a site online with “enriching, stimulating, interesting” learning activities which will be non-compulsory. During the week of April 6, he will send families a list of suggestions for weekly activities, which will be adapted to the children’s age and educational level.

In addition, parents will be able to pick up their children’s school belongings at school starting next week, by invitation only. The operation will be coordinated “with great caution to avoid gatherings” and priority will be given to parents of children in difficulty, for whom it is more critical to have this material on hand.

“I tell you: do not go to school tomorrow, do not go to anyone at school to pick up things unless you are invited to do so,” insisted the minister.

Three groups representing school administrators welcomed the government’s decision to postpone students’ return to class until May 1 .

“The safety of students and Quebec school staff is the priority,” said the president of the Quebec Association of School Management Staff (AQPDE), Carl Ouellet.

Regarding CEGEPs and universities, the minister said he will make sure, over the next few days, that all establishments offer online courses so that students can complete their school year.

Child care services also remain closed until May 1. Only the daycares that currently provide service to health personnel remain open. “You are looking after our guardian angels, so you too are guardian angels,” said the Prime Minister thanking them.

Closed shopping centers

Faced with an increase in cases of coronavirus, the Quebec government is ordering the closure of all shopping centers, dining rooms, restaurants, and hair and beauty salons.

“There are too many people still in the shopping centers,” said the Prime Minister. At this point, we have to go a little further. We need to step up our measures. ”

Mr. Legault clarified that food stores, pharmacies and SAQ branches located in shopping centers may remain open.

Another exception: a business with an exterior door allowing access without going through a shopping center may remain open.

As for restaurants, only takeout orders will be allowed, and even encouraged. Until now, restaurants had to operate at 50% of their capacity.

“We encourage restaurants that do not (take-out meals) to do so, because of course we must continue to feed the population.”

The Association Restauration Québec (ARQ), which has 5,700 members, responded on Sunday by expressing concern that many restaurants are closing their doors permanently.

“It is therefore imperative that the two levels of government put in place a series of fiscal and financial measures to save the industry from disaster,” declared the president of the ARQ’s board of directors, Claudine Roy, by way of press release.

The closure of hair and beauty salons is explained by the fact that it is difficult to respect the distance of one to two meters aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

Tougher measures for seniors?

Legault suggested on Sunday that he could possibly ban seniors outside the home from going outside to reduce the risk of them bringing the virus and infecting others.

Remember that the four deaths caused by COVID-19 in Quebec came from the same retirement home in Lanaudière.

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