Another step has been taken in the lifting of health measures in Quebec: as of Saturday, wearing a mask on public transport is no longer officially mandatory in all regions.
Updated June 18th
Overall, face coverings will be mandatory on the subway and buses for almost two years; it had become mandatory in all indoor public spaces in July 2020, on the cusp of the second wave of COVID-19 that authorities were then expecting.
The end of the mask requirement in public transport is “an important step”, argued the Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Christian Dubé, in his announcement at the beginning of June. His decision was made based on a recommendation from Public Health, which was then observing a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases. However, these seem to have started to rise again in the last few days.
Wearing a mask on public transport remains a possible “choice,” stressed Mr. Dubé and the national director for public health, Dr.right Luca Boileau. They are asking the public to respect those who are “uncomfortable” with the lifting of this restriction and who will continue to wear a face covering.
A few more measures
However, all Quebecers are still required to wear the mask in several public places in Quebec, such as hospitals, CHSLDs, CLSCs or clinics. “I think it will stay there for a long time”, Minister Dubé had also indicated, recalling that hospitals are the places where “we have the greatest danger”.
People with COVID-19 are also required to wear a mask for 10 days in any social interaction, as are people living in the same household as an infected person.
By mid-May, Quebec was the latest province to lift the requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. In the school network and in the day-care centers, students and employees no longer have to wear a mask since May 16th. Since emerging in Quebec, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 15,528 people.
If the transmission indicators of COVID-19 stabilize or decrease across the country, a surge in the summer with the arrival of the new BA.4 and BA.5 variants of the Omicron family is “possible,” the federal health agency warned Friday. “We are starting to see a percentage increase in the BA.4 and BA.5 variants. It’s something to look at,” said Canada’s Deputy Health Officer, D.right Howard Njoo without specifying the regions currently experiencing increased COVID-19 activity in the country.
With the Canadian Press