QUEBEC CITY -- The upcoming session at the National Assembly will be able to take place as scheduled on Feb. 2, and elected officials will be invited to attend in person.

The Canadian Press confirmed Thursday morning that Quebec's director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, had given the green light to MNAs to resume their work and, more or less, to opt for the formula that was in effect last fall.

Arruda agreed with arguments made by the three opposition parties, who insisted that part of the parliamentary proceedings should continue to allow for exchanges between elected officials in the Salon bleu, particularly for question period and the detailed study of bills.

The CAQ government had advocated a completely virtual return to the National Assembly.

For weeks, the leaders of the opposition parties and the government had been negotiating to find a consensus formula for the next session and had requested a public health advisory for a recommendation on health measures.

Strict measures have been implemented since the spring. The 125 MNAs are no longer all in the Salon bleu at the same time, which operates in a very reduced format. Less than 40 elected representatives are allowed to be present at once, and they're at a good distance from each other.

Since July 18, anyone inside National Assembly buildings must wear a mask.

In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic in March, the National Assembly has been practically deserted with most employees teleworking. The building has been closed to visitors.

No outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported at the National Assembly.

- This article by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 28, 2021