The provincial government has reintroduced its mandatory mask mandate, which will be in effect across the entire province.
The announcement was made on Tuesday morning by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
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“While we have made incredible progress in our shared efforts to be vaccinated and to put this pandemic behind us, in the broader community as you know, we are seeing increased transmission and increasing levels of transmission,” she said during a live press conference.
The mask requirement will be in effect for people 12 and older in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status:
- 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)
- 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
- Inside schools for all K-12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4-12
Henry adds that this is a temporary measure that will be monitored alongside the BC Vaccine Card.
Individuals who can’t wear a mask or put on or remove a mask without the assistance of others will be exempt.
Masks can be removed temporarily in indoor public spaces when needed to identify the individual, to consume food or beverage, when participating in a sport or fitness activity at a sports facility, or receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.
Mask usage is not recommended for children under the age of two and is encouraged for children aged two to 12 in public settings.
Mandatory masks will return as of August 25.