It was going to be her first vacation since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Ishat Reza had her bags packed and was ready to enjoy time off in Portugal, but when the federal government decided to drop its mask mandate on planes and trains on Monday, doubt entered her mind.
Reza, who has a pre-existing mild traumatic brain injury, was expecting Ottawa to drop just its vaccine mandate and ArriveCAN, but was caught off-guard by the federal government’s decision over mandatory masking.
Feeling she is at higher risk for serious COVID-19 outcomes, Reza decided it wasn’t worth the risk to fly right now and cancelled her trip just hours before takeoff. Read more: ArriveCAN, mask mandates among changes as Canada drops COVID-19 border rules Ottawa’s decision to ease pandemic restrictions is yet another sign individual Canadians are going to have to play a greater role in protecting themselves from COVID-19 in the future, health experts say.
However, with an expected increase in infections as the cold weather sets in, Ottawa shouldn’t have dropped its mask mandate and its decision “disproportionately affects” vulnerable Canadians, Reza said. “We now are in a position where the risk is higher to get it on a plane or on a train, and we have to decide: are we willing to take that risk?