HALIFAX -- New Brunswick has released new guidelines that will allow schools across the province to hold in-person graduation ceremonies.

Schools across New Brunswick closed on March 13 as part of the measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

Over the past few weeks, New Brunswick loosened restrictions as it entered a renewed and revised state of emergency, allowing the reopening of businesses and venues like malls, restaurants, and museums.

Tuesday, the province’s education and early childhood development minister, Dominic Cardy, released new guidelines for graduation ceremonies in the anglophone and francophone school districts.

“Graduation from high school is an important milestone in the lives of young New Brunswickers and it deserves to be celebrated,” said Cardy in a news release.

“While the pandemic prevents students from participating in many traditions and activities, the graduation guidelines will help districts plan alternative celebrations and ensure our grads receive the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments.”

While in-person graduation ceremonies will be allowed, physical-distancing measures must still be respected.

The province worked in collaboration with the seven school districts to outline parameters for physical distancing and provide schools with suggested, but not mandatory, options for ceremonies.

“I encourage schools to be creative in their planning and look at this as an opportunity to try new ways of celebrating,” said Cardy.

Each school will be responsible for developing their own ceremony plans and will be required to submit them to their respective districts for approval.

The ceremonies will take place between June 15 and 19. The final day for home-learning options will be June 12.

“I congratulate the graduating class of 2020 for their hard work over the course of their academic career, but also for their resiliency and compassion throughout this pandemic,” said Cardy.

“I hope they continue to grow and pursue learning throughout their lives as they lead us into the future.”