Grace period ends for mandatory masks aboard STO; most customers already wearing masks
GATINEAU, QC. -- The two-week grace period for mandatory masks on public transit in Quebec has ended, and nearly all customers are now required to wear a face covering.
Gatineau's Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) says the vast majority of customers have so far complied with the rule.
"Customers are very respectful of the directive; around 95% of people wear masks on our buses," STO spokesperson Alexandre Meloche Dorris said in an email to CTV News in French.
Children under the age of 12 and people with medical conditions are exempt from wearing a mask on public transit in Quebec.
The Quebec government said, when announcing the measure, that there would be no fines, but people without a mask could be denied service once the grace period ended.
Meloche Doris told CTV News that STO drivers would continue to focus on education, even now that the grace period is over, as most customers are already wearing masks.
"Our focus is on awareness and the message seems to be getting heard as around 95% of customers comply with the face covering directive on board our buses. In the rare event that a customer shows up without a face covering, the driver will remind them of the rule," he said.
Face coverings have been mandatory on public transit on the Ottawa side of the river since June 15. OC Transpo estimates 90-95 per cent of riders wear masks on public transit.
With files from The Canadian Press.