Quebecers have been wearing masks since July 2020.
Quebec's mask mandate will lift on May 14, except for on public transport and in clinics, hospitals, and care homes. The province's Interim Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau made the announcement on Wednesday, saying COVID-19 case counts are under control at the moment.
"We're seeing more tangible, hopeful signs. The number of hospital admissions and outbreaks is better. Absences at schools and within the health network are down," said Boileau.
While masks will not be necessary to wear in public spaces, that doesn't mean you can't wear them. Boileau said it's a personal choice and all Quebecers need to respect the decisions of others.
"We must remember that masks are still recommended for the most vulnerable, like the elderly and immunocompromised," he said.
Boileau said the sixth wave of the pandemic is clearing up, but that a new wave could be possible in the fall. Even if Quebec does see another uptick in cases, he said it remains unlikely that mandatory masks will return.
"If you have symptoms, you wear a mask and stay home. If you're symptomatic with any virus you should isolate yourself. It's not about having a mandate, it's about having the social responsibility to protect yourself and others," said microbiologist Dr. Jean Longtin, who advises Quebec Public Health.
In schools and daycares, students and educators will no longer need to wear masks in classrooms or on buses as of Monday, May 16.
The mask mandate will lift on May 14 at midnight, between Friday and Saturday.