The mandatory mask in public transportation in Quebec | Coronavirus


Premier Legault announced the measure on Tuesday in Montreal. He will be accompanied for the occasion by the new Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé; the minister responsible for the city, Chantal Rouleau; the national director of public health, Horacio Arruda; and its regional director, Mylène Drouin.

After having “strongly recommended” the wearing of the mask for weeks, the Legault government, which is preparing for a second wave of COVID-19, has finally decided to impose this protection measure on all users of public transportation , where it is particularly difficult to respect the rules of social distancing.

Dr. Arruda, who has never ruled out making face cover mandatory in certain situations, ultimately seems to have concluded that it was a necessity.

The measure will be applied within two weeks.

Shadow areas

We do not yet know how to apply this measure, namely: whether masks will be provided to users who do not have them; whether they will be denied access to subways and buses; or if fines will be distributed to offenders and, if so, by whom.

One thing is certain: the imposition of such a measure was not the first choice of the government and the health authorities, who repeatedly invoked the obstacles and challenges posed by the imposition of this obligation on the scale of Quebec.

But faced with the lukewarmness of Quebecers towards the voluntary wearing of a mask, the authorities were forced to react.

On Monday, Dr. Arruda set the stage by once again deploring the looseness in the face of health regulations, adding that the imposition of the mask on public transport was an option very, very highly rated right now.

At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, forgetfulness is according to him worst danger that watches over Quebec. It is important not to forget that this virus still exists, did he declare. We all have a responsibility to prepare.

It is not only in Quebec that wearing a mask will be mandatory in public transportation. This is already the case in Ottawa, Guelph and Hamilton. In Toronto, wearing face cover will also be mandatory on public transit starting Thursday.

For the leader of the official opposition Dominique Anglade, who had been calling for this measure for a while, it was time for the government to decide to act.

Better late than never, but in public health, sooner would have been better than later, she said on her Twitter account. Another step back from François Legault that could have been avoided when we have been asking for weeks to wear a mandatory mask in public transport.

The mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, also says she is reassured. This is in line with the discussions and representations I have made with the government of Quebec, but also with the mayors and mayors of the metropolitan community of Montreal, of which I am the president., she said on Monday.

However, it will be necessary to be flexible in applying the ban, pleads Ms. Plante.

We can’t prevent honest workers who have forgotten their masks from entering public transit, I think it would be unproductive and that’s not the intention, she said.

According to her, the solution goes through distributing masks in less affluent or more affected areas, by installing mask dispensers or by awareness campaigns.

According to a survey by the Canadian Medical Association published last Friday, wearing a mask seems to be the least followed preventive measure, especially by young people.

Only 42% of Quebecers surveyed said they had covered their faces regularly in public places since the start of the crisis, including barely 27% of respondents aged 18 to 34.

With information from Sébastien Bovet and La Presse canadienne

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