Quebec’s director of public health said he was confident of approving the mask-requirement lift on May 14 while still keeping a way out, noting the final decision would be made next week.
dr Luc Boileau indicated in a press conference that the pandemic situation is improving and the data are encouraging. However, as a precaution, public health suggests waiting a few days before announcing its position.
“Final guidance on whether or not to proceed will be made early next week,” said Dr. Boileau, specifying that we must “remain cautious” for the next few days.
The medic nonetheless expressed optimism, saying he was “very confident” in announcing the end of the mask for May 14.
“Right now we don’t see anything else that could thwart this intention, which aims to end mask-wearing by mid-May,” the national director for public health said. “We’re moving toward something that makes sense, and we believe it will soon be.”
Public Health’s recommendation was due to be presented next Monday and the government was due to make the final decision on Tuesday.
Even if dropped in public places, the mask remains mandatory on public transport, as well as in health care settings such as hospitals or CHSLDs where patients “remain very vulnerable.”
The regulations on isolation and wearing a mask in case of symptoms also remain in place despite the imminent withdrawal of the last major population measure against COVID-19. People who have contracted the virus should therefore continue to isolate themselves for five days and wear the mask for ten days.
“There will be no change because the virus will not change. […] Respiratory hygiene practices, public practices of those infected must remain the same or we will get the ball rolling again. There will still be traffic on the 14th,” stressed Luc Boileau.
“It is important that those who are showing symptoms and who have contracted COVID continue to self-isolate,” added his colleague Dr. Added Jean Longtin. “We want it to be a reflex. We have symptoms, we are isolating. And even the virus doesn’t matter.”
This public health recommendation could also remain in place in the long term. “We can’t force people, but I think it will become part of morality,” says Dr. boileau.
dr Boileau also pointed out that the data currently being observed suggests that the peak of the sixth wave is behind us. “This is good news because several indicators show a decrease in the risk of contagion in the general population and in the groups that we follow more closely,” said the director of public health.
Caused by the BA.2 variant, which is largely dominant in the province, this wave proved to be more contagious but less virulent than the previous ones. Currently, about 50% of hospital admissions are more likely to be people who were hospitalized for some other reason and are discovered on-site.
And only about 5% of hospital cases ended up in intensive care.
“That’s the big advantage we have with BA.2. Two years ago, in our first cases, 40% ended up in the intensive care unit,” notes the doctor.
As of July 18, 2020, wearing a mask in public places has been mandatory in Quebec. Various rules were added over the months, in particular for wearing in schools and during sports and leisure activities.
It will be necessary to respect those who choose to keep the mask, says Marc Hamilton
The government has already twice backed down on its intentions to abolish the mask requirement. The payout was first scheduled for mid-April, then pushed back to the end of the month, and finally scheduled for mid-May.
July 13, 2020
Mandatory face covering or mask on public transport and ferries
July 18, 2020
Wearing a mask is mandatory in closed public places throughout Quebec
Charges for mask refusal begin
October 8, 2020
Mask requirement everywhere in secondary school in red zone regions
January 11, 2021
Masks are compulsory in classes in the 5th and 6th grades of primary school and for all students in the corridors
January 18, 2021
Masks are compulsory at all times in secondary school
March 8, 2021
Masks are compulsory for all pupils from the 1st to 6th grade in the red zone
April 12, 2021
Masks are compulsory in class at all levels
April 14, 2021
Mandatory mask for outdoor or indoor leisure or group sports activities
March 7, 2022
End of the mask requirement for students in class
April 15, 2022
First planned end-of-mask-wear date, postponed by two weeks
April 30, 2022
Second planned date for the end of mask wearing, again postponed by two weeks
May 14, 2022
Planned appointment for the by Dr. Boileau announced the end of mask-wearing on April 28