Face mask use

Mask use is mandatory in public places

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in BC, the provincial government ordered masks to be worn in indoor public places as of late November 2020. Here are some examples of these places:

  • 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

  • Places of public worship

  • On public transportation, in a taxi or ride-for-hire vehicle

  • Common areas of office buildings, courthouses, hospitals and hotels

  • Common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity

  • Common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit groups

Who is exempt from wearing a mask?

People who can’t wear a mask or who can’t 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.

What about kids?

Masks aren’t recommended for children under age two. Health officials encourage them for children aged two-to-11 in public setting, but these children are not covered by the provincial enforcement order. Under that order, people age 12 and older must wear a mask in a public indoor space, unless they’re exempt.

Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask?

No. For the purposes of this order, a mask or face covering is defined as a medical or non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth. Face shields aren’t a substitute for a mask because there is an opening below the mouth.


• COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

• COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

• COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

• COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

• COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

• B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


Page Last Updated: 30/01/2021