no masks ontario

This is when face masks will no longer be required in Ontario

Wearing a face mask indoors in Ontario seems second-nature these days but for those who hate them, we now know when they will no longer be required.

Face masks became mandatory in Toronto on July 7, 2020 and across the province on Oct. 4, 2020.

Other provinces in Canada have tried to remove face mask laws. British Columbia removed face mask requirements, only to have the law come back less than two months later. Alberta did the same experiment with deadly results.

Ontario has decided to wait and set a date of March 28, 2022 to remove mandatory masks in indoor public settings, the province announced on Oct. 22. The lifting of restrictions was part of a larger announcement about the gradually easing out of Step 3 of lockdown measures.

Asked why set a date of March 28, the province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, said the province should have completed its vaccinations at this time.

"By March we hope we've maximized our immunization strategy in Ontario that we have more Ontarians immunized to the point that this virus doesn't have a host in which it can reproduce, we'll have our third dose strategies will be completed," Dr. Moore said in a press conference.

He added that after every respiratory virus season, the risk does decrease.

"And we do hope that as we continue the high immunization rates that we can have a great spring and summer and fall following in 2022."

The province added that there could be a return to health measures in some areas of the province if needed, and public health measures would be implemented provincially in exceptional circumstances, such as when the province's health system capacity is at risk of becoming overwhelmed or if a vaccine resistant COVID-19 variant is identified in the province.

The province plans to monitor cases and "if the situation is not deteriorating, and in the absence of concerning trends" the gradual lifting of health measures will proceed, said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

If all goes well, in addition to removing masks, life could be getting back to normal in March.

The provincial requirement for proof of vaccination will be lifted for all remaining settings, including meeting and event spaces, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, racing venues and commercial and film productions with studio audiences.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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