According to Health Minister Dubé.
The government announced a big COVID-19 strategy shift on February 8. After years of combatting the spread of infections with a series of lockdowns and at-times severe restrictions, Premier François Legault said we now have to start learning to live with the COVID-19 virus.
He presented a reopening plan that will see some COVID-19 rules gradually fade away through March 14, after which, according to the premier, the bulk of restrictions would be gone and Quebecers would return to a "more normal life." The Quebec vaccine passport and mask-wearing policies, however, might persist beyond then.
"We don't currently foresee lifting mask-wearing," interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau explained at a February 8 press conference. "It remains a very effective measure for reducing the contagion." The practice, he said, would continue until at least March 14, by which time officials would evaluate whether to prolong it.
Other jurisdictions, meanwhile, are beginning to either announce or consider dumping their vaccine passport systems, which limit certain activities and spaces to residents who are vaccinated.
But according to Health Minister Christian Dubé, the continuation of Quebec's passport is the baseline condition that's enabling other reopenings.
"I think it's the same approach we're going to take with masks," Dubé said at the conference. "In fact, what really allows us [to lift restrictions], it's the [additional] hospital spaces we have created, but also having a vaccine passport and masking," which, he reiterated, would last until "at least" mid-March.
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