British Columbian health officials have announced that masks will once again become mandatory in indoor public spaces starting tomorrow.
B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, made the announcement during a live press conference hosted on Tuesday morning, August 24.
The policy being reintroduced means that everyone 12 years and older will be required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces province-wide.
Masks will be required in places such as restaurants, malls, bars, and public transit, ride-sharing vehicles.
“This is to address those situations where we are in an indoor setting with people who may not have yet been vaccinated,” said Dr. Henry.
Masks will also be required in common areas of sports and fitness centers as well as common areas of post-secondary institutions.
Dr. Henry says the mandate comes amid COVID-19 transmissions starting to spike in health authorities across B.C.
The provincial health officer notes that this is a temporary order that will be reassessed as the new BC Vaccine Card order — announced yesterday — is implemented.
Premier John Horgan announced Monday that the province will be rolling out a “B.C. vaccine card” starting on Sept. 13, which will be needed to gain access or participate in various social and recreational activities and events.
Those events and activities include indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, fitness centres, casinos, nightclubs and indoor organized events such as conferences and weddings.
“This is a step we believe is important at this point in the pandemic,” Horgan said Monday.
Under the current framework, individuals 12 and older will need to show proof that they have received at least one dose of vaccine by Sept. 13. However, starting on Oct. 24, individuals will need to have received two doses of vaccine in order to attend those settings, with entry only allowed seven days after the second dose was administered.
This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is learned.