Doug Bentley's two kids attend St. Patrick Elementary School in Pincourt, Que., just west of Montreal, and he's grateful it won't reopen until at least Jan. 17.
He said keeping kids apart "is only good for the collective health," but on the flip side, home-schooling is "difficult to manage."
With a daughter in Grade 1, he said it is challenging to keep her on task while he and his wife work from home.
The reopening of secondary and primary schools is delayed across the province, said Premier François Legault on Thursday. There is no plan for CEGEPs and universities yet.
Katherine Korakakis, president of Quebec's English Parents' Committee Association, said there is "a lot of anxiety. A lot of fear. A lot of uncertainty."
She said many people were questioning the previous plan to reopen schools on Jan. 10.
Delaying the reopening of schools by a week will give staff and personnel more time to get their booster shots, increasing their protection from a COVID-19 infection from 30 per cent to 75 per cent, Legault said.
"It's quite the difference," he said.
Given the current situation, postponing the return to face-to-face classes seems the right thing to do for now, said Éric Gingras, head of the Centrale des unions du Québec (CSQ), which represents 125,000 education personnel.
"Remote learning is far from being optimal for students, especially those with learning disabilities, as well as for their families, and the same is true for education staff," he said in a statement.
"The most important thing now will be to do everything possible to open our schools in a way that is safe for everybody, and above all, to prevent them from once again becoming a major source of outbreaks."
Schools need a range of tools to maintain safety such as rapid tests and personal protective equipment, he said. It is also important, he added, to have a serious talk about ventilation in schools.
Restaurants in Quebec will once again be closing their dining rooms, and with a few exceptions, stores will be closed on Sunday for the next three weeks.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) will hurt because of these restrictions.