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The Quebec Mask Mandate Will Be Extended Through The Whole Month Of April

A bit longer than planned.

Signs inside a Quebec store asking customers to wear a face covering.

Signs inside a Quebec store asking customers to wear a face covering.

The Quebec mask mandate will last longer than initially planned. While officials had said that face-covering rules would end in most places in mid-April, Interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau confirmed on Tuesday that public health has officially recommended that the government maintain the mandate through April.

That means Quebecers will have to continue masking up in enclosed public spaces. Boileau said officials would continue to evaluate the necessity of the measure.

Officials have said that mask-wearing will be mandatory in public transit until at least May 2022.

Quebec is currently seeing a spike in COVID-19 infections brought on by the BA.2 variant. On April 3, the province reported 2,331 new cases and a net increase of 57 hospitalizations — but because officially registered PCR tests aren't available to the general public, that's not a complete picture.

As recently as March 31, Health Minister Christian Dubé said officials had no plans to add restrictions or alter Quebec's reopening plan in light of the BA.2 case spike.

"Since most measures have been lifted, we prefer having a more careful approach," Boileau said Tuesday.

As Narcity has reported, the extension of the mask mandate will make Quebec the last state or province in North America to have such a measure. (However, in the U.S. and some Canadian provinces, mask wearing is still mandatory on public transit.)

Boileau justified the extension by saying masks were still an "effective tool" for preventing viral propagation and not a "major constraint" on the population.

He clarified that "the intention is not to keep it forever."

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

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