Monday is a big day for Montreal. After two postponements, retail stores with their own entrance from the outside will finally start to reopen in the city and surrounding suburbs. As these stores' employees and customers start commuting again, the STM will be handing out reusable masks at 39 metro stations.

This first round of mask distribution will take place during the morning rush hour at the network's busiest stations as well as stations in infection "hot zones."

They are: Honoré-Beaugrand, Henri-Bourassa, St-Michel, Pie-IX, Radisson, Sauvé, Joliette, Crémazie, Laurier, Viau, Cadillac, Langelier, Jarry, De l’Église, Côte-Vertu, Angrignon, Vendôme, Bonaventure, Plamondon, Berri-UQAM, Snowdon, Lionel-Groulx, Jolicoeur, Jean-Talon, Guy-Concordia, Fabre, Frontenac, Beaubien, Sherbrooke, Champs-de-Mars, Rosemont, Papineau, Mont-Royal, Villa-Maria, Côte-Ste-Catherine, Verdun, Du Collège, Parc, and Monk.

The STM employees handing them out will be wearing visors, masks, and gloves. 

"Other rounds of distribution to customers are planned over the next few months, depending on how the situation and supply evolve, to eventually provide a total of some 1.5 million face coverings," the STM wrote in a statement.

Government officials have been more and more adamant that Quebec residents, and especially Montrealers, wear a mask in public spaces where social distancing is difficult.

Though masks are not mandatory, public health officials now recommend their use as an additional precaution to prevent the spread of infection.

Leaders like Mayor Plante and Premier François Legault now regularly wear masks during their press conferences.

Quebec's transport ministry began "strongly recommending" mask-wearing in public transit on May 5.

The distribution of face coverings is just one part of the STM's plan for deconfinement and an influx of customers.

Metro service has returned to normal to prevent crowding despite a huge drop in ridership.

The company is also keeping the high-frequency cleaning schedule first introduced at the beginning of the health crisis.

In April, the STM installed hand sanitizer distributers at metro station entrances.

"We ask that everyone be responsible and demonstrate teamwork," STM CEO Luc Tremblay said.

"We all have a role to play, whether that means implementing special measures, following guidelines or adopting new behaviours."

Stay tuned for more news.

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