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A Definitive Quebec Mask Mandate End Date Is Expected Today — Sorta

The public health boss is holding a press conference.

Senior Editor
Mask sign on the door of a store on Montreal's avenue du Mont-Royal.

Mask sign on the door of a store on Montreal's avenue du Mont-Royal.

Interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau will hold an 11 a.m. Quebec press conference Wednesday and is expected to confirm an end date for the province's mask mandate — at least in most spaces.

Multipleoutlets report that Boileau is sticking to the May 14 deadline he tentatively set on April 28.

He said at the time that public health officials needed a few more days to get a better sense of the direction of the COVID-19 situation as the sixth wave of infections passed its peak.

It wasn't clear if he projected the mask mandate would persist on public transit. Originally, face-covering rules were supposed to end on transit about a month after they ended in other enclosed public spaces.

La Presse and the Journal de Québec both report Boileau will likely keep masking in place on transit, as well as in long-term care facilities and hospitals. Neither outlet indicated the public health boss will set an end date for face-covering rules in those spaces.

If mandatory masking does mostly end on May 14, it will have been almost two years (one year and ten months) of mask-wearing in the province. Quebec's mask mandate entered force on July 18, 2020.

Mask rules are also some of the last COVID-19 measures touching daily life. Their end could mark the "return to normal" leaders have long promised.

Since the beginning of 2022, officials have pivoted to an approach that involves, in the words of federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, "living with the virus."

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