Province to lift majority of mask mandates

Government also reveals date for the end of all remaining public health measures

Province to lift majority of mask mandates

Ontario will remove masks mandates on March 21 in most settings, including schools, and will end all public health measures on April 27.

The provincial government announced the easing of measures today, saying that improving health indicators and declining hospitalizations, as well as Ontario's high vaccination rates and the availability of antiviral treatments, make these next steps possible.

However, according to a report by The Canadian Press, government officials say individual organizations will have the authority to keep their own requirements in place, and most hospitals have said they will continue their strict vaccine mandates.

Read more: Mask wearing in province to become 'personal choice'

This means that after March 21, employers in affected sectors will no longer require employees to wear face masks (e.g. teachers would no longer have to wear a mask). Employers wishing to loosen their masking requirements may feel relieved. Some employers may wish to continue on with a mask mandate regardless of public health guidelines. Similar to vaccine mandates, this is at their discretion so long as the mandate is clearly communicated and does not become a human rights issue.

The province has recently eased its vaccination policy mandate for some sectors.

Meanwhile, isolation guidelines are being changed today for close contacts of someone with COVID-19 or who is symptomatic. People will only need to isolate if their close contact is a household member and if they are an adult who has not received a booster dose or someone under 18 who has not received two doses.