Some significant steps will be taken today in the slow process of lifting restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Quebec, which accounts for more than half of the country’s novel coronavirus cases, is reopening elementary schools and daycares outside the Montreal area.

Students will be subject to physical distancing and frequent handwashing while school officials follow public health guidelines for cleaning and disinfection.

Attendance, however, is not mandatory, and two school boards have told The Canadian Press that most of their students will be staying home for now.

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Quebec is also allowing most retail stores outside Montreal to open today, but pushed back the opening date for schools and other businesses in the hard-hit metropolis to May 25 as case numbers there remained high.

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1:43Coronavirus: Kids and parents wanting to get back to popular playsites

Coronavirus: Kids and parents wanting to get back to popular playsites

Meanwhile,

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