Quebec hopes to end its mask mandate by May 14 but a final decision will only be made next week, the province’s interim public health director said Thursday.
Luc Boileau told reporters that COVID-19 indicators are starting to improve and that it appears the peak of the sixth wave is behind the province.
While the news is “quite positive,” Boileau said he will provide an update on the situation next week — and confirm whether the mask requirement will be lifted in public spaces next month.
“We are following the situation very closely,” Boileau said, referring to the health crisis.
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The provincial government has largely nixed most health measures in recent months, with officials saying it was time to find a way to live with the novel coronavirus. In March, it nixed its vaccine passport system and eased capacity restrictions for businesses.
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The plan to eliminate mandatory masks in indoor public spaces, however, had been delayed more than once as cases, deaths and hospitalizations started to rise again.
Last week, Boileau recommended keeping the requirement until at least the middle of May because the progression of the sixth wave was uncertain — and Quebec needs to be careful.
On Thursday, the province’s top doctor said the latest wave is under control. But he noted that COVID-19 hospitalizations weren’t dropping fast enough for him to feel comfortable advising the government right now to nix masks.
Quebec will be the only province to require masking in most indoor public places when Prince Edward Island lifts its mask order on May 6.
— with files from the Canadian Press
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