Most Ontario mask requirements will be lifted on Saturday

Most of Ontario’s remaining COVID-19 masking requirements, including on public transit, will expire as of 12:00 a.m. on Sat. June 11.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued the announcement today, citing high vaccination rates and Ontario’s COVID-19 situation continuing to improve.

“To continue providing an additional layer of protection for the most vulnerable, masks will still be required in long-term care and retirement homes. Masking is recommended in higher-risk congregate living settings, such as shelters and group homes,” Moore noted, adding that Ontarians should continue to wear a mask if they feel it is right for them, are at high risk for severe illness, recovering from COVID-19, have symptoms of the virus, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

On Saturday, remaining directives will also be revoked and replaced with Ministry of Health guidance for health care workers and organizations (including guidance on when masks should be worn in hospitals and other health care settings).

Moore said that organizations may still implement their own policies; he added that the province will continue to monitor for any significant changes, including any new variants of concern, to ensure they are adapting their response to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians.

“I want to remind Ontarians to stay home when sick and, most importantly, get vaccinated and boosted if eligible. Staying up to date with vaccination is the best protection against severe outcomes and will help us maintain the progress we have made,” he noted.

Reaction was mixed across social media, with many condemning the decision, noting how some hospitals—and people—are choosing to maintain mask-wearing, even with mandates ending:

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Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO