ontario mask mandate end

Ford says he will continue to wear a mask in some situations in Ontario

Masks will no longer be mandatory in many public places in Ontario after March break but Premier Doug Ford says he will still wear them sometimes.

Yesterday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced face coverings won't be required after March 21 in bars, restaurants, cafes, retail stores, gyms and schools.

Masks will still be required in public transit, healthcare settings, such as hospitals, long-term care homes, and other high-risk congregate care settings, such as shelters, group homes and correctional facilities.

People will still need a mask where federally mandated, such as during air travel.

The Toronto city council also voted to end mask mandates on March 21.

Not everyone is happy to see masks go.

"Honestly, I feel a lot safer with a mask on. Not just health wise, but identity wise," one person wrote.

Dr. Moore said he plans to continue to wear a mask in busy grocery stores and malls even though it is not required.

And it turns out Premier Doug Ford plans to keep wearing a mask in some situations.

"If I'm going into long-term care to see my mother-in-law, I'm wearing a mask. If I'm visiting someone in the hospital I'm wearing a mask," Ford said a press conference Thursday.

However, hospitals and long-term care homes are two places where a mask will still be required. Ford didn't mention if he would wear a mask in other places but he did ask that people be kind and respect the freedom to choose.

As we have seen, mask freak-outs happen far too often — from a tense encounter outside a supermarket to people filming themselves getting into arguments with staff members — the mandate has put many people on edge.

"I just encourage everyone moving forward — let's support each other…if you're wearing a mask or you aren’t, we've went through a real challenge over the last two years," Ford said. "So let's be united and respect each and every person's decision."

Dr. Peter Jüni, who heads Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory table, indicated it is too soon to know if it is the right time to remove mask mandates. And the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said removing masks puts students at risk of having in-person learning once again disrupted.

In response to questioning the decision to end the face-covering mandate now, Ford said he trusts Dr. Moore’s advice.

"And keep in mind, the whole world is doing the same thing," Ford added. "The whole of North America is doing the same thing. We aren't leading the pack."

Lead photo by

Premier of Ontario Photography

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