Mask mandate returns for indoor public spaces

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The provincial government has reinstated a mask mandate for all indoor public spaces beginning Wednesday, Aug. 25.

“As 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 provincial health officerDr. Bonnie Henry.

The new order means that people aged 12 and older, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks in:

* 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.

This temporary order will be reassessed as the B.C. vaccine card requirement (announced on Monday) takes effect.

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 activity in a sport facility or while receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.

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