Quebec is taking its first step toward lifting mandatory masking Monday, starting with elementary and high school students across the province.
Students won’t be required to wear masks while seated in class as they make their way back to school after March break.
But the COVID-19 mask mandate still applies in common areas of elementary and high schools, while students are circulating and on school buses.
Quebec’s interim public health director Luc Boileau has said that as early as next month, wearing masks could become a matter of personal choice rather than an obligation.
Boileau’s comments Thursday came a day after the Health Department said mask mandates could be lifted in most public places by mid-April at the latest.
The provincial government had said it felt encouraged by the steady drop in COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations to move in that direction, with the province reporting a 20-patient drop in hospitalizations on Sunday.