Mask-wearing is not required for Ontario students come this September, the province’s education ministry has confirmed.
In an email statement to The Epoch Times on Aug. 8, the ministry said most health and safety requirements for the fall semester will remain unchanged from the end of the 2021–22 school year, including voluntary use of masks.
“School boards will continue to have access to rapid antigen tests to be used in accordance with provincial testing guidance,” the statement said.
Masks will also be made available to students upon request.
The Ontario government ended its masking mandate in most settings, including schools, on March 21.
On July 25, the education ministry launched a “Plan to Catch Up” initiative to get students back to classrooms in September with up-to-date health and safety measures in place, including ventilation improvements in schools.
“Our government’s Plan to Catch Up is designed to keep students in safe classrooms without disruption,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement to The Epoch Times Monday.
Since August 2020, the Ontario government has deployed over 100,000 standalone HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices, and upgraded school ventilation infrastructure with the highest MERV-13 level filters, Lecce’s department said.