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Photograph: Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao

Masks are mandatory on public transportation today, and will be mandatory indoors July 18

In addition to today's requirement for mandatory masks on public transportation, they'll be mandatory indoors on July 18 in public spaces.

By JP Karwacki
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Starting today, if you want to hope aboard the metro or a bus to get around Montreal, it's mandatory to wear a mask. In fact, this applies to public transportation across the province, following an announcement made by the Quebec government back on June 30.

In a press release issued by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the use of masks is mandatory for passengers. What may come off as an inconvenience for those who don't know where to buy a face mask in Montreal, the STM will be handing out upwards of 1.5 million masks during the next two weeks—distribution of masks will be taking place from July 13 to July 26, made available at fare booths and will be distributed to riders by inspectors as pre-recorded messages concerning guidelines are broadcasted.

Additionally, the STM is now allowing riders to board from the front of the bus once again, which means that fares will once again be validated.

A big question follows: Can I be fined for not wearing a mask? Not yet. The government has said that it won't fine people for not wearing a mask, but passengers who choose not to wear one should likely expect to have STM employees remind them (or even deny entry) constantly before, during and after a trip. Time will only tell, but the main idea is that this new measure will stigmatize those who show disregard for the safety of others—even if it is a little uncomfortable to wear one.

Later this month on July 18, masks will be mandatory at public indoor spaces throughout Quebec; restaurants, movie theatres, museums, galleries, bars, you name it. The government has said that there isn't supposed to be fines for people who aren't wearing masks, and police won't be enforcing these rules actively.

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