Masks are again mandatory in indoor public spaces in B.C.
Provincial Health officials provided another update on public health orders after yesterday’s (Monday) announcement
that vaccine cards will soon be mandatory for residents to enter certain businesses.
Doctor Bonnie Henry announced masks will be required once again for residents 12+ in many public areas starting tomorrow (Wednesday).
The following areas will require mask-wearing:
* 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 in grades 4-12.
“As the transmission of COVID-19 increases in B.C., primarily among unvaccinated people and in part due to the Delta variant, it’s important to take this extra temporary step to make indoor public spaces safer for everyone,” said Doctor Henry. “We need to continue doing the things that protect us, including wearing masks in indoor, public areas, practising hand hygiene regularly, staying away if we are sick and keeping a respectful distance from people. And most important of all, every person should get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.”
This temporary order will be reassessed as the B.C. vaccine card requirement is fully implemented in certain social and recreational settings.
“As unvaccinated people continue to get sick and hospitalized with COVID-19, we’re taking another step to ensure we overcome COVID-19 together, and that we move forward together,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
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.
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 facility or while receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.