After a post-holiday shutdown, classrooms in Quebec will welcome students back for in-person learning next week, Premier François Legault announced late Wednesday evening.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, the premier confirmed classes will resume for primary and secondary students as scheduled on Monday.

Dr. Luc Boileau, the province’s new public health director, made the recommendation on Wednesday. Boileau replaced outgoing Dr. Horacio Arruda, who resigned from the post after 12 years. 

"It’s very important for children to go back to school, to learn, to reunite with their friends, to find some normality," the premier wrote. 

Students will be required to wear masks and will have access to rapid antigen tests, according to the CAQ leader, though he did not provide specifics on how many tests will be made available. 

CEGEPs and universities are also expected to resume classroom learning, the premier added. 

School settings are safe, he said, because 89 per cent of high-school-aged children are double vaccinated, while vaccination among primary school kids hovers around 60 per cent. Teachers have also had priority access to booster shots, which are being made more widely available to the general population. 

The Quebec government had said that students would return to class on Jan. 17 the same day it announced a province-wide curfew and ordered several establishments to close due to a surge of new COVID-19 cases, including bars, restaurant dining rooms, and gyms.