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Toronto likely to follow province lead on end of mandatory masking
March 3, 2022
Antonella Artuso

Toronto prefers to act in concert with the province when lifting public health measures including mandatory masking, Mayor John Tory says.

Barring an unforeseen change in pandemic trends, the Ontario government is expected to announce a move to voluntary masking later this month.

While medical officers of health can recommend public health measures that respond to the local COVID-19 situation, ensuring the same rules at the city and provincial level helps avoid public confusion, Tory said.

“What we want to make sure of is that there’s a consistency in the advice that people see from governments so that they won’t be confused by that,” Tory said.

Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said the key COVID-19 indicators are improving and high vaccination rates make the relaxing of public health measures possible.

“We are at a new phase in this pandemic,” she said. “We know that these kinds of measures that we’ve put into place to protect ourselves and to protect our communities were always meant to be temporary.”

Toronto Public Health is speaking with provincial counterparts about when regulations and measures can be rolled back, she said.

The mayor said he has spoken to businesses that want to see patrons continue to wear masks and also individuals who will opt to keep face coverings in public.

Although the province lifted mandatory proof of vaccination for most settings Tuesday, some companies have voluntarily continued with the practice.

Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has said that he expects to lift mandatory masking for school children at the same time as the general public.