Provincial mask mandates for public transit and health-care settings in Ontario expire today.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says with virus indicators heading in the right direction and high vaccination rates, it’s time to replace mandates with guidance.
He says it’s still recommended that masks be worn in those settings, but that will no longer be the subject of an emergency order that came with the threat of fines and jail time.
The scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table and the Ontario Hospital Association say they would have liked the provincial orders to remain in place for longer.
Many Ontario hospitals across the province have said they will be keeping mask rules in place for visitors and staff, pointing to risk factors among their patients.
Provincial mask mandates will remain in long-term care and retirement homes, where Moore says they should stay in place until at least the summer of 2023.