OTTAWA -- Backpacks will now be allowed in classrooms at Ottawa's French Catholic schools this year.

One day after saying students will not be allowed to bring backpacks to school in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Conseil des ecoles catholiques du Centre-Est has lifted the backpack ban in the classroom.

"This letter is meant to inform you that backpacks will be allowed in the Conseil des ecoles catholiques due Centre-Est schools as of the beginning of the school year," says a letter to parents.

"The administration's initial position was to reduce the quantity of personal belongings brought to school. As you know, the administration keeps updating its Back to School Guide, in accordance with the new ministerial directives that were issued on July 30."

The board is asking parents to limit the amount of personal belongings students bring to school each day.  All personal belongings brought to school, including backpacks, clothing, sun protection, water bottles and food, must be labelled and kept separately.

Earlier this week, the CECCE said backpacks would not be allowed for students in an attempt to limit the transmission risk of belongings that may be contaminated at home or at school.   Students in Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten would have been permitted to bring a change of clothing in a plastic bag.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board says students can bring a backpack to school with them.

Lockers and cubbies will not be used to support physical distancing and reduce the amount of touching surfaces in classrooms and schools.  Students will keep all personal items at their desk, including coat and backpack.