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

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

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Chilliwack’s Ryan Wugalter with his kids, three-year-old Mira and 15-month-old Solomon. Wugalter recently released his children’s album Super Giraffe. (Submitted)
Chilliwack father releases children’s album, songs about superhero giraffe and not eating magnets

Inspiration for Ryan Wugalter’s new album ‘Super Giraffe’ came from his two young kids

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Several Abbotsford citizens and athletes have participated in the SOBC’s Polar Plunge fundraiser campaign. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford residents taking the Polar Plunge for SOBC

Local Michelle Hill jumping into Albert Dyck Park on Saturday, several others also taking part

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read