Canada’s New Coronavirus Face Mask Rules: What You Need To Know

 On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he will start wearing a mask in public when he can’t physically distance from others, including to his appearances at parliament, to coincide with new recommendations from chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

Wearing non-medical face coverings in public in Canada was no longer simply suggested, Tam said, but recommended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.


 What changed in Canada’s stance on mask-wearing?

Wednesday’s announcement is a shifting of the language around the federal government’s stance on mask-wearing. 

Tam called her previous language on the matter “permissive,” while Wednesday’s update is a “specific recommendation.”


 Do I have to wear a mask all the time now?

Neither Ontario or the City of Ottawa require masks to be worn. Some businesses may choose not to let customers enter without wearing a mask, however, so be aware when you are out and about.


When should I wear a mask?

Tam stressed that these guidelines largely apply to areas of Canada with community transmission and specifically locations where you can’t maintain social distancing.

Examples include the grocery store, where aisles are tightly packed, or public transit like subways and buses. You don’t need to wear a mask if you won’t be in a situation where you could come within six feet of someone else. But if there’s a chance of it, officials say it’s better safe than sorry to wear a mask


What type of masks do officials recommend? 

A simple cloth mask or homemade one will do just fine.


Remind me again why a mask is a good idea?

Research shows that face coverings are effective at preventing the transmission of respiratory droplets, which spread viruses like the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. They’re most useful in protecting the people around you from your droplets. When you breathe out, the mask traps the droplets and prevents them from getting to other people.