A man wears a face mask as he sits on a bench in Montreal, Saturday, June 27, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

As provincial leaders across the country ease restrictions put in place to curb COVID-19, health officials are reminding Canadians to be diligent while stopping short of making non-medical masks mandatory.

But a new online poll from Leger released this week suggests that a bit more than half of Canadians would support such regulations.

Fifty-eight per cent of the 1,524 respondents surveyed said they feel that people should wear protective masks when out in public or in confined areas such as grocery stores, shopping malls or while on public transit.

Thirty-three per cent disagreed while nine per cent weren’t sure.

In B.C., a majority of the 207 respondents – or 52 per cent – agreed that non-medical masks should be mandatory, while 41 per cent disagreed.

Of the further 1,005 people surveyed from the U.S., 70 per cent said they think the government should make masks mandatory.

Recommendations on non-medical masks have been confusing for many in Canada. In May, chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam unveiled her final stance on the protective measure stating that it is recommended when physical distancing is not possible.

“Use of non-medical masks is recommended as an added layer of protection when physical distancing is difficult to maintain,” Tam said, adding that people should stay home if they feel sick.

“Hand-washing is the right accessory for all venues and accessories.”

COVID-19: Six handwashing mistakes to avoid

As B.C. enters Phase Three in its restart plan, business owners are having to make individual decisions on masks among their staff and customers.

On Monday, Cineplex Inc. announced it would be reopening Friday and that masks would be recommended – available free of charge for those who forget theirs at home.

In May, Costco also recommended its shoppers wear face masks in order to curb the possible spread of COVID-19.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Boil water advisory issued for Lower Kootenay Band

Bacteria was discovered in the Band’s water system yesterday

Creston residents invited to participate in scarecrow and pumpkin carving contest

In previous years, the contest was limited to local businesses and select artists who would display their scarecrows along Canyon Street for the event

Membership drive launched to attract input for new Creston Discovery Centre

For more than 40 years, environmental awareness and educational programs were offered at the Creston Valley Wildlife Area’s original Interpretive Centre

Rossland resident Aerin Bowers completes 19-km swim along Christina Lake

Bowers said her dad inspired her to complete the epic adventure

Category 2 open burning prohibitions rescinded throughout Southeast Fire Centre

Category 3 open fires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation, remain prohibited

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read