Following a recommendation from the public health department, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, has announced that the loosening of restrictions, scheduled for March 14, will instead come into effect March 12. In addition, Public Health is proposing a gradual phase-out of the requirement to wear a mask in public places.
Lifting of most measures
According to a press release from the health ministry, Advancing the date will allow the population, organizers and merchants to enjoy the weekend with a minimum of restrictions. The decision is based on the evolution of the epidemiological and hospital situation.
As of March 12:
- 100 per cent capacity in all public places;
- No capacity limit per table in restaurants, bars, taverns and casinos;
- Return to normal business hours for restaurants, bars, taverns and casinos;
- Dancing and karaoke activities are permitted;
- No restriction on the number of participants for activities of a social nature in a rented room;
- Removal of the visitors’ register from private residences for the elderly.
In addition, vaccination passports are no longer required to access businesses and facilities.
Gradual lifting of the requirement to wear a mask or face cover
Public Health is proposing a gradual phase-out of the wearing of masks, the precise dates of which will be confirmed at a later date, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
As of Monday, March 7, as previously announced, masks will no longer be required in class or at daycare when students are seated.
By mid-April at the latest, with 10 days of notice:
End of the mask requirement in all public places (excluding public transport). Public places include all institutions of higher education (CEGEPs and universities).
By May, with 10 days of notice:
End of the obligation to wear masks on public transport.
Despite the gradual withdrawal of the obligation to wear a mask, the health ministry points out that the mask remains an effective tool for reducing the transmission of viruses.
Wearing a mask will be part of the set of good practices to be maintained and will remain recommended in certain circumstances, notably when a person presents symptoms similar to those of COVID-19; during social interactions for 5 days following a period of isolation; during social interactions with immunosuppressed individuals.