BC’s Indoor Mask Mandate Expanded to Include Kids Aged 5 and Up

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Children aged five and older are now required to wear masks in B.C.’s indoor public spaces, the province’s health officer Bonnie Henry said Oct. 12.

The change is to align with masking rules in the province’s school system, which requires K to 12 students to wear masks in all indoor areas, Henry said in a press conference.

“We also want to keep things as straightforward and as simple as possible,” she added.

The updated mandate, which came into effect on Oct. 12, will now require kids aged five and up to wear masks in malls, grocery stores, coffee shops, recreation centres, restaurants, and other indoor locations.

The mandate was previously only applicable for individuals born in 2012 (aged nine) or earlier.

Henry said the province is also prepared to provide COVID-19 vaccines to children aged five to 11 years old “as soon as the vaccines are approved for use by Health Canada.”

Currently, only people aged 12 and above are eligible for vaccination in Canada.

Pfizer Canada said on Oct. 7 that it is preparing to seek Health Canada’s authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 by mid-October.

Henry said she hopes the vaccine for the children will be available “as early as November.”

Isaac Teo


Isaac is a reporter based in Toronto.

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