Human rights principles must be at the core of our response to the pandemic. When it comes to mask-wearing policies, we need to ensure there is balance between the rights of people who cannot wear a mask on the basis of protected grounds in B.C.’s Human Rights Code (such as disability) and the public health risks, especially to people who are at risk of more severe illnesses.

This policy guidance from BC’s Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender details how mask-wearing requirements must accommodate people with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent them from using of non-medical masks.

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Please note: A version of this guidance was published prior to the Nov. 19, 2020 mandatory mask order from B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer. The original version, published Nov. 5, 2020, is available here and our interim update, published Nov. 23, 2020, is available here.