MONTREAL -- The Quebec government is calling for all festivals and public sporting and cultural events in the province to be cancelled until Aug. 31.

Several government departments issued a joint news release Friday, saying that the cancellations must take place in the “context where certain health measures put in place to protect Quebecers from COVID-19 will have to be respected in the longer term.”

Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx, Culture and Communications Minister Nathalie Roy and Isabelle Charest, the minister responsible for education, made the announcement.

“This directive has been issued considering the evolution of the COVID-19 situation in Quebec and the need to respect in particular the guideline of a physical distance of two metres for an extended period,'' the ministers wrote.

To offset the impact of the pandemic, the Quebec government is “planning and exploring various forms of accompaniment and support for festivals and events that it finances through its departments and their programs.”

Among the events that occur before Aug. 31 are the Rogers Cup tennis tournament. Organizers said they are assessing the situation and are discussing options with regards to rescheduling. Aht Rogers Cup was supposed to take place between Aug. 7 and 16.

"We understand the Quebec government's decision and they are thinking about the health and safety of Quebecers," said tournament director Eugene Lapierre. "Our priority in managing this crisis has always been to ensure the safety of players, amateurs, volunteers, our partners and our employees and our decisions will therefore go in that direction. We will be working with the WTA to make an official announcement on the status of the Rogers Cup tomorrow."

Several major music festivals are also affected, including Osheaga, Ilesoniq and Lasso Montreal. Promoter Evenko issued a statement saying they will also assess their options "for all events that have been planned to date."

"It's still too early to specifically anounce the status of the various events," they said. "Of course, we will do everything we can to minimize the impact of this decision on our stakeholders, trying to postpone the events when possible."

On Thursday, several major Quebec events were declared cancelled, including the Festival d'Ete de Quebec and the annual Montreal fireworks competition. The Just For Laughs festival had previously announced a postponement of this year's edition to Sept. 29 to Oct. 11.

The Canadian Grand Prix has also previously been cancelled, as has the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Francopholies, Tour de L'Ile and Go Velo Festival.