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A Plan To End Most Quebec Mask Rules Is Expected This Week

Here's what might be up first.

Senior Editor
Close-up of a shop's door with signs explaining COVID-19 health measures

Close-up of a shop's door with signs explaining COVID-19 health measures

A week after a public health official said a plan was in the works to end the Quebec mask mandate, officials are reportedly ready to present it to the public.

TVA Nouvelles reports that the government is preparing to lay out how mask-wearing requirements will gradually fade from many parts of public life. An announcement is expected on Wednesday or Thursday.

Public Health Senior Strategic Medical Advisor Marie-France Raynault previously said that mask rules would likely first disappear from places and situations where the risk of transmission is lowest, namely places where people are seated and aren't speaking.

Theatres, then, could be among the first steps. Other public spaces will see face-covering rule changes later, Raynault said. She suspected public transit "will really be the last place where the mask will be lifted."

Quebec is already ending mask requirements for students in elementary and high school classrooms, where students are mostly seated. That change takes effect on March 7.

Many workplaces also saw face-covering rules relaxed on February 28. Workers outside the care network can remove their masks if they're able to maintain two metres of physical distancing or stay between physical barriers. Masks are still required when and where people are transiting and in common areas, except when people are eating.

Radio-Canada's Sébastien Bovet reports that the government plans to also move up some measure relaxations that were originally planned for March 14.

This news comes as the Institut national de santé publique (INSPQ) released a report concluding that "the gradual relaxation of sanitary measures until March 14, 2022, should not cause a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations in Greater Montreal."

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