BC is expected to expand its mask mandates to include more children.
“Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will be revising the public health order requiring masks be worn in indoor public settings to include children five and older to align with the school mask-wearing requirement,” the province shared in a release as part of its COVID-19 update on Friday, October 8.
In next week’s COVID-19 briefing, there will be more details announced on the decision, including when the order will take effect.
Currently, it’s mandatory to wear a mask indoors in the province. The measure was reintroduced in August 2021, and it required everyone to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
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In BC, masks are required in all public indoor settings for all people born in 2012 or earlier. That includes places like:
- Retail stores, malls, and shopping centres
- Grocery, drug, and liquor stores
- Airports and on public transportation
- 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
- Inside schools, including all K to 12 students
- Community centres and recreation centres
- City Halls, libraries
- Restaurants, coffee shops, and bars when not seated at a table
Right now, exemptions include children under the age of 9, but that requirement is set to change. More details are expected the week of Tuesday, October 12.