Masks are not mandatory in Ontario schools

Students in Ontario schools will not be required to wear masks in the fall semester, the Ministry of Education confirmed Monday.

Instead, use will be voluntary and masks will be available to students upon request.

Rapid tests will also remain available for school boards.

Mask mandates ended in most settings in Ontario on March 21, making masks optional for students in the classroom.

The fall 2022 semester will be the first full term since the start of the pandemic where Ontario students will not be required to wear masks

Late last month, the Department for Education announced a plan to help students catch up after two years of interrupted learning. Under this plan, COVID-19 protocols in schools will remain the same as last spring.

“Our government’s catch-up plan is designed to keep students in safe classrooms without disruption,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement to CTV News Toronto on Monday.

“The remedial plan aims to help students get back on track, learn life and career skills, and enjoy the full return of clubs, sports and after-school programs – essential for the physical and mental health of students. students. It starts with being in class, on time, with the full school experience coupled with historic mental health and tutoring supports.

Few new details have been released on how the government plans to ensure in-person learning continues throughout the year, particularly if another wave of COVID-19 hits the province. Instead, the government touted its past investments in improving ventilation and HEPA filtering units, providing rapid COVID-19 tests for staff and students and funding parents to offset the costs of online learning.

The province says about $26.6 billion has been allocated to elementary and secondary education in Ontario for the 2022-23 school year.

With files from Katherine DeClerq of CTV News Toronto.