State of emergency ends in Ottawa on Thursday

The state of emergency declared in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Ottawa's mayor has announced.

Mandatory mask bylaw to expire Aug. 26, but provincial masking rules to remain in place

The municipal state of emergency for Ottawa will end on Thursday. (David Richard/Radio-Canada)

After nearly sixteen months, the mayor has announced that the municipal state of emergency in the City of Ottawa will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Jim Watson first made the declaration on March 25, 2020 as the pandemic was beginning, to allow the city to be "nimble" in procurement and how it organized staff. 

Anthony Di Monte, head of the vaccine rollout and emergency services, recommended ending the municipal state of emergency, the mayor said.

Eighty-three per cent of adults in Ottawa have received a single dose of vaccine, and 68 per cent of adults have received two.

"I've been assured that de-escalating into 'activated operations' will neither impact day-to-day operations nor will it impede our ability to respond to future provincial direction on the pandemic," Watson told city council Wednesday.

Other communities have also lifted their emergency declarations, such as the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell on June 30.

City's mandatory mask bylaw will expire

During the news conference following Wednesday's council meeting, DiMonte confirmed the city's mandatory mask bylaw will be allowed to "sunset" when it expires on Aug. 26. 

The city first enacted its own mouth-and-nose covering rules in July 2020.

Since then, the province has brought its own mask-wearing rules for public spaces.

The provincial masking rules will remain in place.