Masks are no longer required in most indoor environments in Gatineau, Que.

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

Bernard, who was in Gatineau, no longer had to disguise himself while shopping.

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

Throughout Quebec, masks are no longer required in most indoor public places such as bars, restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, venues, school and sports facilities, and museums. The province is the last jurisdiction in North America to lift the mask mandate.

Some, like Mystine Laframboise Vien, were still adjusting to the relaxed rules when she visited the Canadian Museum of History.

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

As in Ontario, masks are still needed on public transport, in healthcare facilities and retirement homes.

The county’s chief medical officer of health says COVID wastewater levels are falling, as is the test positivity rate. dr. Kieran Moore predicts low activity in Ontario over 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 masks indoors.

“It also depends on how hot it is because of the sweat and stuff,” said Miranda Rico, who was wearing a mask on the way to the Rideau Center.

“You never know where you’re going to catch him and I’ve caught him twice,” added Daniel Mervin Cyril. “So I don’t want to catch him again.”

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