Quebec public health has announced it is extending the province’s mask mandate in indoor public spaces until at least April 30.
In a statement by the country’s Interim public health director Luc Boi-leau, the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations amid the province’s sixth wave prompted the recommendation to maintain the measure just 10 days before it was expected to be dropped.
He added the measure will be maintained for the next two weeks and will be re-evaluated by public health officials.
The mask mandate, however, was supposed to be in place until mid-April. The government had previously announced that face coverings would no longer be required in the majority of public places by that time.
“As the majority of measures were lifted, we wanted to have an approach that’s more cautious,” Boileau said Tuesday.
He also urged Quebecers to be cautious during the latest surge of pandemic indicators, but said he has “no intention” to add more restrictions, like closing businesses.
“We’re not there,” Boileau said. “It’s a wave that was expected.”
Quebec is one of the few provinces maintaining the requirement. It has bucked the trend alongside Prince Edward Island, which also decided to keep its mask mandate in effect in hopes of limiting the spread of COVID-19.