MONTREAL -- The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is suspending its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the lague announced it will pause its activities between Dec. 1 and Jan. 3.

“The current situation with the pandemic in the regions in which we operate makes it extremely difficult to play games,” said Commissioner Gilles Courteau in a statement. “With the Holidays just around the corner, the provinces in the Maritimes have restricted access and travel, while red zone restrictions in Quebec do not permit us to play.”

The QMJHL season, which began in October, has been repeatedly interrupted by the pandemic. Even as the season began, several teams whose home cities are in Quebec's red zones were forced to suspend their activities for several weeks. Several teams found themselves dealing with outbreaks of the virus among players and staff.

Between Nov. 17 and 27, players on seven QMJHL teams were bubbled in Quebec City as games were held at the Videotron Centre.

In their statement, the league said details on a return-to-play plan would be announced in the coming weeks.