Updated: Which Provinces Have Made Masks Mandatory in Response to COVID-19?
Ed. Note: This post has been updated to reflect changing mask requirements.
Across Canada, provinces have instituted a range of mandatory mask orders in response to COVID-19. Now they are required in most Canadian workplaces.
Typically, where masks are required, there are exemptions for children, workers in areas not accessible to the public and able to maintain physical distancing, those with medical conditions preventing them from wearing masks, and situations when masks must be removed (e.g., treatments, services or physical activities requiring removal or identification). Many jurisdictions also have exemptions for courtrooms or proceedings before an administrative tribunal.
Here’s a quick recap of Canada’s mask requirements.
The last hold-out. Masks are now mandatory across Alberta. In addition to the typical exceptions, workers whose safety would be at risk if they wear a mask (per a workplace hazard assessment) are exempt.
Per province-wide Ministerial Order, masks are required in all public indoor settings and workplaces.
Masks are required across the province. Persons must wear a mask in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin without gapping in an indoor public place (and business operators must remind those who don’t).
New Brunswick mandates face coverings that cover the mouth and nose in indoor public places. Industries already in compliance with specific public health guidance and an approved operational plan may be exempt.
Newfoundland & Labrador
Newfoundland & Labrador has a province-wide order requiring masks to be worn in indoor public places. In addition to the typical exceptions, workplaces may be exempt where masks cannot be worn per the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.
Masks must be worn in designated public places in Nova Scotia. There are additional exemptions for those requiring accommodation under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.
Ontario has province-wide orders (Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3) requiring businesses/organizations to ensure that anyone in an indoor area or vehicle they operate wears a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin. In addition to the typical exemptions, Ontario excepts those who require accommodation per the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or Human Rights Code.
Prince Edward Island
Per the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order, masks are required in all public places, including public transit.
No province-wide mask Per province-wide Saskatchewan Public Health Order, masks are required in enclosed settings,.
In addition, Transport Canada requires masks on all airlines and airports.