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Here are the places where you still have to wear a mask in Toronto

Monday, March 21 marks the end of Toronto's mask mandate, temporary regulations imposed in July 2020 requiring the wearing of masks or other face coverings within enclosed public spaces.

The city is keeping in step with provincial guidelines by axing the masking requirement in settings including retail stores, bars, restaurants, gyms, community centres, and public attractions like museums, but that doesn't mean it's mask-off day everywhere.

It's been a long 20 months of half-faces and fogged-up glasses, and while many places are once again welcoming the unmasked, there are a few spots where face coverings are still required, specific exceptions described by the city as "high-risk and congregate settings."

Public transit

The province and city may be allowing unmasked shopping, dining, and visits to attractions, but you'll have to bring a mask if you plan on taking any public transit routes along the way. Masks continue to be required in stations and aboard TTC, GO, UP Express and VIA Rail vehicles.

Non-transit-related areas of Union Station are one exception, though masks are still required throughout most of the transit hub.

Long-term care homes

This one is a no-brainer, as LTCs host some of the most vulnerable members of society in terms of COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU risks.

As per Ontario regulations, mask requirements remain to prevent the type of outbreaks witnessed in LTCs during the early days of the pandemic.

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

Also following provincial regulation, shelters are another place where mask use is still enforced. As with LTCs, shelter residents and staff are particularly vulnerable to infection and have proven to be transmission hotspots during previous waves.

Emergency staff

As for emergency service staff working for the city like paramedics and firefighters, they'll have to mask up until at least April 26, following provincial direction.

A new variant is now trending in Europe, and the end of the mask policy, while long-awaited, could prove temporary. For now, the city is reminding anyone visiting public facilities that they still have the option to mask up, should they prefer.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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