With masks no longer required on public transit in Quebec, the government removed one of the last sanitary health measures in place to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus – leaving only health-care facilities and long-term care homes and other such facilities as places where a mask is still required.
The stipulation of masks on public transit has been in place since July 2020, when the province imposed a mask mandate for indoor public spaces and public transit in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The government announced the plan to phase masks on public transit months ago
The Quebec government announced the plan to remove masks on public transit 10 days ago, a decision that was supported by the province's public health officials.
In a statement on June 8, Quebec health minister Christian Dube said the lifting of the measure "is an important step, which confirms the significant improvement in the epidemiological situation in recent weeks."
While masking is no longer required, health officials encouraged vulnerable people and older adults to continue wearing them. Those who wish to continue masking up to protect themselves and others are encouraged to do so.
The provincial government removed its state of public emergency as of June 3. More than two years after it first declared it on March 13, 2020.
On Monday, Quebec reported 532 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of people infected to just over 1.079 million infections since March 2020, as well as two new deaths reported in the last 24 hours, for a total of 15,538 deaths in total.
Quebec recently opened up the fourth dose the booster vaccine to anyone 18 years and older. People must wait a minimum of three months between their third and fourth dose. In addition, three months should elapse between being diagnosed with COVID-19 and the next dose.
That said, the province’s health ministry and the province's expert committee on vaccination, the CIQ, recommends the fourth dose, also known as the ‘second booster,’ for a select group of people, including those living in long-term care homes, immunocompromised people, people aged 80 and over living in the community, people living in environments with a high proportion of seniors and vulnerable people.
Despite that recommendation, anyone 18 and over can book their fourth vaccination appointment through ClicSante.
Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase