MONTREAL -- The Quebec government is temporarily suspending parents’ access rights to children in foster care, to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

The children living with foster families, at the request of the DPJ, will no longer have “physical contact” with their biological parents, grandparents or other close relatives, if the director of the DPJ believes that this cannot be done safely.

Health Minister Danielle McCann signed a ministerial decree to that effect on Thursday evening.

It aims “to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Quebec declared a health emergency last week, which was noted in the order.

As a result, the minister is suspending court judgments granting parents access rights or exit rights to children living in foster families, “to the extent that the director of youth protection considers, according to the public health recommendations, that these decisions cannot be respected in a way that protects the health of the population.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 20, 2020.