B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner has issued a simple poster to clarify mask-wearing exemptions permitted under the mandatory mask Order. The poster relates to indoor public spaces as defined on page 3 of the Order. This includes, for example, retail and service businesses, workplaces (in shared common areas of office buildings), public event spaces, places of public worship, and public transportation vehicles. It does not include, for example, indoor spaces in public schools, where a mask Order has subsequently been issued and differs. Long-term care and health care settings may also have different rules. The poster is designed to be placed alongside notices or signage about a business’s mask-wearing policies.
Download the poster (PDF) ▼
The poster clarifies that you do not have to wear a mask if:
- You are under 5 years old
- You are unable to wear a mask because of a health condition or physical or mental impairment
- You are unable to put on or remove a mask without help from another person
- Wearing a mask prevents you from communicating with someone with a hearing impairment
Having a valid reason not to wear a mask does not guarantee you access to an indoor space. Businesses can accommodate you by serving you in other ways, such as providing curbside pick-up.
The poster advises business owners that:
- If a person claims a valid reason they cannot wear a mask, take them at their word. Proof should not be required.
- Business owners cannot be fined for allowing people without masks to enter their place of business.
- Press release: Mask exemption poster for businesses now available from BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner
- Policy guidance: A human rights approach to mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Video: Message from Commissioner Govender on human rights during COVID-19 (March 2020)
- Commissioner Govender’s full policy statement on human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19 frequently asked questions from BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner