Nfld. & Labrador

Mandatory masks in N.L.: Here's when you'll need them, and when you won't

Think of any business, office building or place of worship and you'll likely need to be wearing a mask.

Going to a restaurant? You will and won't need to wear a mask

Masks are mandatory in the St. John's International Airport, a move that coincided with the opening of the Atlantic bubble. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador will make wearing non-medical masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces beginning Monday.

How will that look? Think of any business, office building, place of worship or gathering place, and you'll likely need to be wearing a mask in common areas.

Masks will be required while using public transit, which includes buses, taxis, car services and common spaces on ferries.

For office buildings, masks will have to be worn in common areas such as lobbies, elevators, reception areas, conference rooms, washrooms and break rooms.

Municipal and government service buildings will require masks as well.

Personal-care businesses — including hair salons, tattoo shops and tanning salons — and animal daycares or grooming businesses will require a mask.

Masks will be mandatory in common areas such as elevators in hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, rental cabins and cottages.

Masks are mandatory in all shopping outlets and markets starting Monday. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

All shopping malls, community markets, retail stores, community museums or historic sites, rental rooms, community centres and other venues used to host gatherings will also require masks. 

Masks are also required in funeral homes. 

Exemptions to the rule, sort of

There will still be some public areas where masks won't be required, but under certain conditions. 

In bars, restaurants, places of worship and entertainment venues masks will be necessary until seated and as long as there is two metres of physical distancing space between bubbles. People will still have to wear a mask while moving around those spaces.  

In fitness centres, dance studios and yoga studios masks will be required until a workout begins and worn again after the workout. The same rule applies for arenas and sports practice facilities when working out. Masks are mandatory in sports-related clubhouses. 

If you are receiving treatment that requires you to take off your mask — at a dentist, or a facial treatment at a spa — you may do so for the duration of that treatment.

For restaurants and bars, masks are required until people are seated. A mask must then be worn if moving throughout the space. (Shutterstock)

In K-12 schools and post-secondary schools including colleges, universities and trades schools masks will not have to be worn in classrooms but are required to be worn by students in Grade 7 and above in common areas such as hallways by all students on school buses.

Teachers and staff will also be wearing masks in classrooms, and in places where they cannot physically distance, such as offices or break rooms, moving between classes or preparing food in a cafeteria.

Actual exemptions

Children under five years old will not have to wear a mask.

Those whose physical condition or mental health prevents them from wearing a mask will not be required to wear a mask. People in these circumstances are also not required to provide proof of their condition for privacy reasons. 

Masks will not be mandatory during some medical treatments. 

A mask can also be removed when showing identification. 

Some workplaces with their own specific health and safety plans will not require masks, along with those that fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. However, those workers must still wear masks when they are in a common or public areas such as lobbies, reception areas, hallways, stairways and elevators.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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