Health minister asks Quebecers to respect those who keep their masks on

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Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé reiterated calls for Quebecers to respect the choices of others who decide to keep wearing masks after mandates are loosened Saturday.

It will no longer be mandatory to wear a face-covering in public places in Quebec as of 12:01 a.m., except in public transit and places where care is provided, such as hospitals, CHSLDs and medical clinics.

Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau announced the change on May 4 and later specified the mandates would also be dropped in early childhood centers, mental health units, schools and school transport services.

"I think it's very, very good news that we are able to take this step," Dube told reporters Friday, adding that he himself will continue to wear his mask, even in places where it isn’t mandatory to do so.

"It's still a reflex that we have had for two years," he said. "Before getting out of the car to go to the grocery store, for example, to have a mask with us. It's normal, there is a transition period. But I would say that overall we trust Quebecers."

"It's important to be respectful of how people feel about it," he added.

Wearing a mask remains recommended for vulnerable people, such as seniors and people with compromised or suppressed immune systems.

The Association of immunodeficient patients of Quebec (APIQ) expressed its concerns Friday, calling on at-risk Quebecers to be careful as mask mandates lift, and for the general population to keep their wellbeing in mind.

NO PLANS TO BRING THEM BACK

Quebec public health is still preparing for the arrival of a predictable seventh wave of coronavirus in the fall.

The province is not, at this time, considering reintroducing the mask mandates should cases rise again, according to Dube.

"I think we are somewhere else in terms of protection," he said. "The variants have changed, our knowledge of all the factors that contribute to contamination means that if it were necessary to recommend it, I think it would be the right thing to do, but we're not here right now."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 13, 2022.  

 

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