The wearing of non-medical face masks has been a much-debated topic in the past weeks. Both the federal and provincial governments have now started recommending that residents wear protective face coverings "as an additional tool to limit the spread of the virus." And now, the Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, is suggesting that locals of the city start to practice this habit.
The Government of Quebec recommends that people wear masks in places where social distancing is not possible — the same thing Plante mentioned in her recent Twitter post.
On April 24, voluntarily wearing a protective face covering was added to Quebec's recommended protective measures.
So, as the entire province prepares to gradually start reopening businesses in the coming weeks, Valérie Plante is asking Montrealers to start adopting a new habit.
This habit is to get used to wearing a protective face covering in any circumstance where one is unable to stay six feet away from another, such as in grocery stores.
But, Quebec officials have made sure to point out that putting a mask on doesn't act as a substitute for other protective important measures, such as hand washing.
Mayor Valérie Plante and Premier François Legault have now both spoken out, asking people to do their part and wear a form of protective face covering in certain public spaces that don't allow for proper distance to be kept between people.
Avec la reprise graduelle, prenons l'habitude de porter le couvre-visage dans les lieux publics lorsque le respect… https://t.co/2WhRMChB0g— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante) 1588164952.0
Translation: "With the gradual recovery, let's get into the habit of wearing a face cover in public places when it is not possible to respect the 2m distance."
It hasn't been made mandatory in any way. We're simply being asked to do so — not forced.
"When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets," the Government of Canada has stated.
The Canadian government has also provided points to know about ensuring a face covering's effectiveness. Masks should:
"be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)"
"be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping"
"be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty"
"maintain their shape after washing and drying"
"fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops"
"allow for easy breathing"
"be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment."
And the provincial government has advised that "children under the age of 2, people with breathing difficulties, persons who are disabled or unable to remove their face coverings without the help of another person should not wear [masks]."
It seems that some businesses have even started to include such in their protective measures.
Costco Canada reportedly is going to make its customers wear protective face masks in its stores as of May 4.
Stay tuned for more news.