The Quebec government is moving forward with its plan to remove the mask mandate across the province by April 15.
Earlier in March, the government announced a flurry of modifications to the province’s COVID-19 public health guidelines, including the abolishing of the vaccine passport, customer capacities, the reopening of restaurants, bars, gyms, and venues, and the restart of competitive sports.
In terms of the province’s mask mandate, the government teased that masks would be removed “by the latest mid-April,” without giving a firm date.
During a Wednesday press conference, Dr. Luc Boileau, the interim Director of Public Health, announced that the province will be moving ahead with its plans to remove masks and cited April 15 as the date.
Boileau says the government will not be advancing the lifting of the mask mandate and that it is still planned for April 15.
On March 10, Boileau admitted that the government was considering lifting the mask mandates sooner. At the time, the interim Director of Public Health said officials could abolish the mask mandate “towards the end of March, at the earliest.”
Overall, Boileau said the epidemiological situation is “going very well” during Quebec’s transition to a “return to normal.”
He says public health expects an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the next few weeks and says a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose will be available to “vulnerable populations,” citing citizens over the age of 80 and people who are immunocompromised, so long as three months have passed since their third dose.
Boileau says Quebec public health is “well aware” of the BA.2 Omicron variant, which he says is already present in the province.
The mask mandate removal will take place in all public indoor places (including restaurants, bars, and venues), but that the mask requirement will stay in place on public transit throughout the province until mid-May.