MONTREAL -- Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge sent a letter to teachers in the province Monday saying the ministry will pay for masks for all staff members who want them.

With daycares and elementary schools set to open next week outside of Montreal, Roberge wrote that reusable masks will be provided to staff working with students with disabilities and to preschool staff, “given the closer interventions and the difficulty of maintaining a constant distance of two metres from students at this level of education.”

He also wrote that, though the public health department is not recommending providing protective masks to all school staff, the Ministry of Education will provide funding so all staff members who want a mask can get one.

“I am aware that some staff members, who are in prolonged contact with students, have concerns about this and that wearing a face cover could reassure them in view of this crucial moment of the return to school,” wrote Roberge. "In light of the issues and fears raised by our partners, I am announcing that I have decided to allow the funding of face covers for school staff."

Those who want a mask can contact their service centres.

Roberge also outlined the distanced education program that educators can use for those students who do not opt to return to school, and highlighted the CNESST toolkit for that is now available for elementary schools and daycares.