It's no longer mandatory in public places (kind of).
The era of mandatory masks in public places is coming to an end in Quebec as of midnight on May 14. After several postponements, the decision that was announced on May 4 remains in place. During a COVID-19 update on Wednesday, however, Interim National Director of Public Health Dr. Luc Boileau reminded the public that masks will still be required in some spots.
“As of Saturday, wearing a face-covering will no longer be required in closed, or partially open, public places. It will however remain recommended for use by people who need it, like those most vulnerable to infections… those who are currently infected, and those who do not want to catch the virus. It is a choice that we must respect, ”said Dr. Boileau at the press conference.
The rule will remain in effect on public transport for the foreseeable future. Boileau said Public Health will assess the need for the rule at a later date and give its recommendation to the government.
The mask will also still be required are hospitals, all long-term care residential centers (CHSLDs), medical clinics where doctors and nurses practice, and in CLSCs, "except for mental health units."
Boileau said that, while not many places are left with the mask rule, it is important to keep it for a while longer to protect the most vulnerable people who could come into contact with COVID-19.
In response, the Order of Pharmacists of Quebec and the associations of salaried pharmacists (APPSQ), owner pharmacists (AQPP), as well as pharmacy chains and banners (ABCPQ) said the public should also continue to a mask it in pharmacies, and other areas where medicines are sold and health services are provided.
"Wearing a mask in pharmacies is first and foremost a protective measure for others, like elderly and immunocompromised people. Wearing a mask at the pharmacy is a sign of respect for pharmacy staff, who benefit from working in a safe environment in order to provide the best care," said President of the Order of Pharmacists of Quebec Bertrand Bolduc in a statement.
In the immediate future, the government announced today that medical projections show the number of new hospitalizations will likely slow down in Quebec over the next two weeks.