Minister Alghabra made this statement the day after a Florida Federal Court judge’s decision to invalidate the national obligation to wear the mask in public transport, including commercial planes.
In the United States, following this decision, issued Monday evening, the Transport Security Agency (TSA) declared that it did not maintain the obligation to wear the mask. And, quickly, airport authorities and air carriers revoked this obligation for passengers.
Questioned by journalists in Calgary, Minister Alghabra did not want to comment on the decision rendered in the United States. He said the Government of Canada bases its decisions on science and data.
We constantly consult our expertshe explained,
and when their advice changes because circumstances change, then we will change our regulations.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged that Canadians want
return to normal. But according to Mr. Trudeau, we must
find a balance between protecting the most vulnerable in the community and returning to the holidays and freedoms that we greatly appreciate.
From New Brunswick where he was visiting on Tuesday, Mr. Trudeau said that
the recommendations of the scientists had been evaluated, and re-evaluated at each stage of the pandemic. And this, since the beginning, in March 2020.
The country is now entering a sixth phase of this pandemic, which includes both a sixth wave of contamination […] and an easing of restrictions in many places across the countrydescribed Justin Trudeau.
We have to find a balance.
” The best way to do this is to rely on science and what the experts tell us. »
In her ruling in Tampa, Florida, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had exceeded its prerogatives in imposing this obligation, and had failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify it.
But in the opinion of the Canadian Minister of Transport,
the mask has been shown to provide additional protection [contre la contamination à la COVID-19].
We will continue to follow the recommendations of our expertssaid Omar Alghabra, who says he does not shoot
no joy to impose these obligations.
But we do it to protect the health and safety of allhe added.
The federal government requires passengers departing from Canada to be properly vaccinated – with vaccines that have been approved – before boarding domestic or international flights, and boarding trains. Ottawa also requires passengers to wear masks at airports and train stations, as well as on planes and trains.
A Canadian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said the government reached out to airlines late Monday to tell them that masks were still required.
The mask and the booster dose
In Canada, a number of provinces have lifted the requirement to wear masks indoors. But, according to Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canadians should continue to wear a mask indoors,
and this, that the province [ou] local administration recommend it or not.
Dr. Tam also recommended that Canadians get their booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine:
we are seeing a resurgence; whether you call it the sixth wave or any other wave in your local jurisdiction, this is a resurgence. And that’s why it’s important to make this reminder now.
In the United States, the mask requirement was due to be lifted last Monday, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had recently decided to extend it until May 3. Health authorities wanted to further study the BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron variant, which is the source of the vast majority of current cases of contamination in the United States.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki called
disappointing the decision rendered by the Federal Court in Florida.
The CDC recommend wearing a mask on public transportshe said.
Translated from a text by Catherine Tunney of CBC