Factbox: Canadian provinces and their plans to reopen schools amid COVID-19

(Reuters) - Quebec, the Canadian province hardest-hit by the coronavirus outbreak, on Tuesday set out guidelines for elementary and high school students across the province to return to classrooms in the fall.

The majority of Canadian schools shuttered in March amid the pandemic. Most provinces have said in-person classes will not return this school year and are working on screening and social distancing guidelines for next term.

Here’s what Canada’s provinces are doing:


Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, has said it intends to allow students return in some capacity to in-person classrooms for the 2020-21 school year.


Many elementary schools in Quebec reopened in May, though schools in the hard-hit Montreal region have remained closed.

The province said on Tuesday that when all elementary and younger high school students return in the fall, they will be divided into “bubbles” and no longer switch classes.


British Columbia partially reopened some schools in late March, offering in-school education for the young children of essential workers. The province on June 1 reopened to all students, with elementary classes limited to 50% capacity, and older students attending one day per week.


Alberta will not resume any in-person learning this school year and the province is working on its plan for reopening schools in the fall, looking at different scenarios.


Saskatchewan said in May that its schools could open as early as Sept 1, though the province is still finalizing its guidelines.


In Manitoba, schools reopened in a limited capacity on June 1, with individual students and small groups invited back for in-person learning and assessments.


Schools in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador will remain closed until the new school year. Some schools in Prince Edward Island have reopened for students who need additional classroom support.

Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, Allison Lampert in Montreal and Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Alistair Bell