British Columbia’s provincial health officer has extended the mask mandate that requires masks be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout B.C.
The previous order, which was set to expire on Oct. 31, 2021, has been extended to continue to slow the transmission of COVID-19.
“The requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces is being extended during this time of higher transmission of COVID-19 in communities,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “This important layer of protection will help make all of us safer, along with practising hand hygiene regularly, staying away if sick and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated.”
Masks are required in all public indoor settings for all people five and older, regardless of vaccination status. These settings include:
- malls, shopping centres, coffee shops and retail and grocery stores;
- liquor and drug stores;
- airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
- restaurants, pubs and bars (unless seated);
- on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
- areas of office buildings where services to the public are provided;
- common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity;
- common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations; and
- inside schools for all K-12 staff, visitors and students.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have all been taking steps to keep our communities safe, and we must continue to do so,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are important steps we can all take to stay healthy, protect our health-care system, support health-care workers and support one another.”
Masks may be removed temporarily in indoor public places:
- to identify the individual wearing the mask;
- to consume food or beverage at a location designated for this purpose;
- while participating in a sport or fitness activity in a sport facility;
- or while receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.
People who cannot wear a mask or who cannot put on or remove a mask without the assistance of others are exempt. A person may not be able to wear a mask for a psychological, behavioural or health condition or due to a physical, cognitive or mental impairment.
For information on the latest provincial health officer’s orders and guidance visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus