Frequently asked questions

The government is extending the closure of educational institutions (elementary and secondary schools, training centres, private schools) until May 1, inclusively.

Educational institutions including institutions of higher learning

Preschool, elementary and secondary school students and students enrolled in vocational training and adult education will not have to repeat the current school year. Teachers will use their professional judgement to decide, based on their students’ first two report cards, whether they will move on to the following level. There will be no ministerial examinations.

As of March 30, the parents of these students will have ongoing access to pedagogical activities. These will be made available via public television, the Internet and the schools’ digital tools. The more vulnerable students, those with learning difficulties, can count on measures adapted to their needs.

The use of these tools is not compulsory since the current situation already presents enough of a challenge to family organization.

College and university students will be able to complete their winter term online. 

Does this measure target only to students?

With regard to educational institutions

All schools and training centres are closed.

  • No school or training centre personnel are required to report to work until May 1, inclusively, except to help deploy exceptional measures.

The school system’s administrative centres remain open.

  • Administrative centre and private school administrative personnel continue to work.
  • Personnel may be assigned to work in another location, such as their home, provided that the nature of their duties permits it and they have the tools available.

However, given the exceptional nature of the situation, personnel may be required for emergency measures, such as the special opening of a school daycare, payroll processing, or preventive building inspections. 

What is an essential service in the education system including the higher education system?

Each organization is responsible for developing a plan to maintain necessary or essential services.

What does "some teaching and research activities" mean?

Some teaching activities in health care-related programs could be maintained in order to ensure the ongoing provision of care services (e.g. nursing internships, clerk and resident rotations). Teaching activities such as grading exams can also continue to be done remotely.

In terms of research activities, each educational institution is responsible for defining the scope of necessary and essential activities. For example, research activities involving personnel and equipment that could potentially assist or lend support to health care services could be maintained. Necessary or essential research activities could also include projects involving animal care, plant care, or cell culture projects.

Are room rental and infrastructure sharing agreements maintained?

As schools are closed, infrastructure sharing will be temporarily interrupted in order to slow the spread of the virus from a public health perspective. As these institutions are closed, related activities such as room rentals and sports and cultural activities are also suspended.

Are personal trips authorized? If so, a 14-day isolation period will be required. How should this be handled?

The Québec government recommends avoiding all non-essential travel.

Should an employee decide to travel anyway, the request for approval of vacation for a trip outside Canada for personal reasons will be handled in accordance with this recommendation.

In addition, a person who still decides to travel should consult the Government of Canada’s website, Travel Advice and Advisories Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre..

Will specific measures be taken when students and personnel return to educational institutions?

The premises will be subject to regular, appropriate maintenance to ensure their cleanliness. Efforts will be made to raise awareness about proper hand washing and respiratory hygiene. Complementary measures may be put in place in the future.

Will there be government compensation for losses resulting from the cancellation of school trips?

At present, no compensation is planned. The school boards must document all the expenses incurred because of the current situation.

Will students have to make up this lost school time this summer?

At present, no measures are being planned in this regard.

Should internships of adult learners be postponed?

For vocational training centres

Because training services are suspended, the training centres are not able to supervise internships in the workplace. Internships must therefore be postponed until further notice.

What are the impacts on the recipients of student financial assistance?

Student financial assistance will be paid as planned, despite the closure of all educational institutions.

Aide financière aux études

Suspension of student debt repayment

In order to lessen the negative impacts of the COVID-19 situation on citizens, the Québec government announced, on March 20, 2020, that student loan debt repayment has been postponed for six months.

Do I have to continue paying my student loan during the next few months?

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.

Do I have to pay interest on my student loan during this period?

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

Can I still make loan repayments?

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

Do I have to apply to have my repayment postponed?

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.

Will my monthly payments change after the six-month postponement period is over?

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

I am currently repaying my loan directly to the Ministère. Does this announcement apply to me?

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

I am currently using the Deferred Payment Plan. How will this postponement of repayments change my situation?

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.

Will these six months be included in the eligibility period for the Deferred Payment Plan?

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

Does this measure apply to all my student loans?

No. This postponement applies only to student loans contracted under a program offered by the Aide financière aux etudes 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.

Recreation and sports

What are the current guidelines for recreational and sporting events? 

In terms of recreational and sports activities open to the public, public health authorities recommend reinforcing the rules for hand washing and respiratory hygiene (soap, water, antiseptic hand wash), modifying the program of activities to avoid instances of physical contact between participants, and ensuring thorough cleaning of the entire premises at least once a day and, ideally, of frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, etc. at least twice a day.

In addition, efforts should be made to limit the number of participants to increase social distance.

Before deciding to proceed with an event involving a mass gathering, consult the website of the MSSS Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre..

You can also consult the federal adaptation of a WHO document on the subject under the tab, Outils d’information (French only) Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre..

Finally, remember that organizations must cancel all indoor gatherings of more than 250 people as well as all unnecessary gatherings for the next 30 days.

What about the closure of public places where leisure and sports activities are held?

In the wake of the epidemiological progression of COVID-19, Québec Premier François Legault announced the closure of all public recreational and sports facilities. Below you will find further information about these facilities. Note that this list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change.

Examples of concerned sites: 

  • Ski resorts 
  • Indoor training and physical fitness centres (e.g. training rooms, yoga and spinning centres, tennis courts, indoor soccer fields, etc.).
  • Gyms 
  • Indoor climbing centres
  • Outdoor recreational centres with service buildings
  • Indoor recreational facilities 
  • Amusement centres 
  • Indoor water parks
  • Tubing and sledding parks

Update : March 22, 2020