Masks are no longer required in most indoor settings in Gatineau, Quebec.

Shopping for groceries on Saturdays is nothing new for Quebecer Cassandra Bernard, but this trip to Costco was different.

Bernard, who was in Gatineau, no longer needed to wear a mask to do his shopping.

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

Throughout Quebec, masks are no longer mandatory in most indoor public places such as bars, restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas, performance halls, school and sports facilities and museums. The province is the latest jurisdiction in North America to lift the mask mandate.

Some, like Mystine Laframboise Vien, are still adapting to the relaxed rules during her visit to the Canadian Museum of History.

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

As in Ontario, masks are still required on public transit, in healthcare facilities and in seniors’ residences.

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

On Saturday, Ontario health officials reported 1,392 people hospitalized and 11 new deaths from the virus. As we head into the summer months, health officials are still encouraging people to wear a mask indoors.

β€œIt also depends on how hot it is because of the sweat and everything,” said Miranda Rico, who walked to the Rideau Center 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 him anymore.”

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