Ontario plans to remove mask mandates after March Break

Just over a week after proof of vaccination in select settings was lifted province-wide, the Ontario government has announced its plans to drop provincial mask mandates following March Break.

Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore made the announcement on Wednesday morning that, as of March 21st, mask mandates will be dropped in settings like schools, restaurants, movie theatres, and retail stores.

Mandates will remain in long-term care settings, retirement homes, public transit, jails, shelters, and congregate care settings with a targeted end date of April 27th.

Ontario’s recommendation is that individuals continue wearing masks despite the removal of a formal government mandate. Some businesses and settings may also still elect to require mask-wearing for visitors and patrons.

Some Ontario health officials, like Infectious Diseases physician and scientist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, advise caution for the public as the province moves into this next phase of relaxed pandemic protections.

“Masks are a helpful (but imperfect) tool to create safer indoor environments, especially during a respiratory virus pandemic,” wrote Dr. Bogoch on social media.

“Our Omicron wave is subsiding but is not over. I think it is reasonable to keep masks on for now and re-evaluate weekly.”

Read more here.

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