Masks are required in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
These settings include:
- malls, shopping centres, coffee shops and retail and grocery stores;
- liquor and drug stores;
- airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
- 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.
Masks are not recommended for children under the age of two, but should be encouraged for children aged two to five in public settings. Children aged five and older (born in 2016 or earlier) must wear a mask in a public indoor space, unless they are exempt.
Masks in health care
Masks are required in health care settings, such as in hospitals, long-term care and assisted living facilities, community clinics and in home health/home support. Masks may also be required in other settings as determined by organizational policy.
Masks in schools
All K to 12 staff, students and visitors are required to wear masks in all indoor areas, including:
- At their desks
- On school buses
Exceptions to the mask policy include:
- A person who cannot tolerate wearing a mask for health or behavioural reasons
- A person unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person
- If the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it
- If the mask is removed temporarily to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask. For example, playing a wind instrument or engaging in high-intensity physical activity
- If a person is eating or drinking
- If a person is behind a barrier
- While providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability (for example, a hearing impairment), where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements are important
To learn more about masks in schools, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/covid-19-safe-schools
Updated October 13, 2021
What kind of mask should I wear?
In most places:
- Choose a reusable mask made with 3 layers of breathable fabric (cotton)
- Masks should not have vents or valves
At health care appointments:
Medical-grade (e.g. procedure/surgical) masks are required for all visitors, patients, staff and medical staff in all Fraser Health locations where health care is provided (hospitals, clinics, residences, etc.)
Medical-grade masks will be provided at Fraser Health locations.
What can I do to make sure that I am using a mask effectively?
- Masks should completely cover your mouth, nose and chin
- Masks should fit snugly, leaving no gaps
- Wash your hands before and after you put on or remove your mask
- Try not to touch your mask. If you touch your mask by mistake, wash your hands again
- Store clean masks in a sealable plastic bag when not in use
- Wash reusable masks daily with soap or detergent, preferably in hot water
- If your mask is soiled or damaged, do not wear it
- Dispose of non-reusable masks in a garbage bin
My eyeglasses fog up when I wear a mask, is there anything I can do?
Fog or condensation is created on your eyeglasses when moist, warm air escapes from the top of your mask and hits the colder lenses of your glasses.
Close the gap where air escapes:
- Choose a mask that has a wire over the nose. For homemade masks, sew in a pipe cleaner or twist tie.
- Tape over the gap. Make sure to use medical tape that’s designed for use on skin
Coat your lenses (check with your optometrist before trying these tips so that you don’t damage your eyeglasses):
- Soap and water, and dry with a microfiber cloth
- De-misting spray, that dries clear
Can I wear a mask over my beard or mustache?
- Mustaches that extend beyond the edge of the face and beards can prevent the mask from fitting snugly and leave gaps, so when possible tuck it in
- Even so, masks can still provide some protection. Choose a mask that leaves as few gaps as possible. Sometimes a larger mask can fit over the facial hair, without leaving gaps
My headphones keep getting tangled in my mask.
- Over-the-ear headphones that you wear over your mask may be the best solution, as you are forced to remove the headphones in order to get to your mask
- Wireless headphones, preferably ones that don’t stick too far out of your ear, are also a good solution
- For wired headphones, try to remember what order you put on your mask and headphones. Start at the outside and work your way down.
How do you wear a mask with head coverings?
- Use longer ties
- Use an extender
- Wear your mask underneath your turban or head covering
- Wear a ski scarf underneath your turban
Additional downloadable resources
How to wear a face mask
BC Centre for Disease Control
How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering
Public Health Agency of Canada
How to wear a medical mask safely
World Health Organization