MONTREAL -- All Hockey Quebec activities are being cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Starting on Friday at midnight, the organization's 2020 season will end; all practices, games and championships will be cancelled. The move comes after Quebec Premier Francois Legault banned gatherings of 250 people or more. 

Hockey Quebec director-general Paul Menard said the organization couldn't prevent such gatherings in arenas.

"This decision was made to protect and maintain the security of all our members; players, coaches, volunteers, officials and spectators," he said in a statement. "When it comes to health and safety, we can't take any chances," 

The decision to cancel the season applies to all provincial, regional and school leagues affiliated with Hockey Quebec.