Masks no longer mandatory in most indoor settings in Gatineau, Que.

Grocery shopping on a Saturday is nothing new for Quebec resident Cassandra Bernard, but this trip to Costco was different.

Bernard, who was in Gatineau, no longer needed to mask up as she shopped.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment in Quebec, especially knowing on the Ontario side it’s been a little while,” she said. 

Across Quebec, masks are no longer mandatory in most indoor public places like bars, restaurants, shopping centres, cinemas, venues, school and sports facilities, and museums. The province is the last jurisdiction in North America to lift the mask mandate.

Some, like Mystine Laframboise Vien, still adjusting to the relaxed rules as she paid a visit to the Canadian Museum of History.

“I’m so used to wearing my mask,” she said. 

Like Ontario, masks are still necessary when taking public transit, in health care facilities and senior residences.

The province’s chief medical officer of health says COVID wastewater levels are declining as is the test positivity rate. Dr. Kieran Moore is predicting a low level of activity in Ontario throughout the summer. 

On Saturday, Ontario health officials reported 1,392 people in hospital and 11 new deaths due to the virus. As we head into the summer months, health officials still encourage people to wear a mask when indoors.

“It depends how hot it is too because the sweat and everything,” said Miranda Rico who was on her way to the Rideau Centre wearing a mask.

“You never know where you’re going to catch it and I caught it twice,” added Daniel Mervin Cyril. “So I don’t want to catch it again.”

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