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Ontario Opposition Parties Call on Province to Reinstate Masking Rules, PCR Access

The leaders of Ontario's NDP and Liberal parties say safety measures need to be reinstated to blunt sixth wave of COVID-19.

Ontario's two main opposition parties are urging the Ford government to bring back or continue public health measures including mandatory masking. 

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca say more needs to be done as Ontario battles a sixth wave of COVID-19. 

Wastewater data suggests COVID-19 activity is higher than it was in January, when the fifth wave was at its peak, and hospitalizations are up 40 percent week over week. 

Horwath says the government should either reinstate mandatory masking in indoor public places or give a clear explanation why they won't. 

She is also calling for mandatory masking in schools, and says she's against lifting the mask mandate for hospitals, long-term care homes and public transit. 

As of April 27th, masks will no longer be required on public transit, or in hospitals and long-term care homes. 

Meanwhile, Del Duca says he thinks ending the mandate for those places is a "huge mistake."

He's also calling for masks to be required again in indoor settings such as pharmacies, schools and grocery stores. 

As well, both leaders are demanding the province increase access to PCR testing. 

Meanwhile, people aged 60 and older, as well as Inuit, Metis and First Nations individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and older, can now start booking fourth COVID-19 vaccines today. 

Appointments can be made on the province's booking portal. 

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