As of today (March 21) some of the provincial guidance on COVID-19 safety measures have changed, including rules related to face coverings. People are now able to enter many indoor settings such as retail stores, bars, restaurants, gyms, community centres or museums without a mask. But masks continue to be mandatory on public transit, including indoor stations. Let’s, well, cover the basics.
Continue to mask up.
Though the province has relaxed some COVID rules as of today (March 21), customers and staff will still be required to wear face coverings on GO Transit and UP Express.
Here’s the latest guidance for riders.
If riders are on a GO Transit or UP vehicle, or in an indoor station – unless they are two or younger – they have to wear a mask.
The GO-VAXX mobile vaccination clinics – which has expanded to eight GO buses – are also staying on the road providing first, second and booster doses. The project recently hit a milestone by administering 50,000 shots.
And all of the 40+ safety measures – such as hand sanitizers, plexiglass dividers, air purification, and dozens more – remain in place.
Now, for the things that are beginning to change.
UNION STATION – A MIXED SITUATION
A shared facility like Union Station, which is both a destination spot and transportation hub, may have unique rules as it has both transit and non-transit areas. All transit areas in Union Station still require masks including GO concourses (York and Bay), UP Express station, Union Station bus terminal, as well as VIA Rail (federally regulated) and TTC areas.
However, if people head into non-transit areas in Union Station such as the food court or a shop or restaurant, a mask is recommended but not mandatory, the city said in a release.
Metrolinx encourages everyone to be patient and respectful of those who choose to continue to wear masks in areas that are no longer compulsory and for others who may be confused about where the rules are changing. Metrolinx staff will have masks on hand if anyone forgets theirs.
The mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for Metrolinx staff and contractors remains in place. Mandatory medical masks for Metrolinx staff will also continue in all workplaces.
All signs now point to recovery and transit customers are also gradually returning to GO Transit and UP Express. High gas prices are also encouraging many to hop on board buses and trains to avoid filing their tanks so often which is encouraging ridership to slowly increase.
Story by Anne Marie Aikins, head of media and public relations
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