With the COVID-19 pandemic renewed by the emergence of the Omicron variant, Canadians are being asked to continue wearing masks and face coverings in public settings to limit the spread of the virus.

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While most of the population is being asked to wear face coverings, some people are exempted.

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Official guidance posted on the Public Health Agency of Canada website states that masks are not recommended for children under the age of two, or for those who live with such illnesses or disabilities. which make it difficult to put on or take off the mask without assistance, and masks are not recommended for this. Those who have trouble breathing while wearing a mask.

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Here’s a look at what each province has to say about face mask exemptions:

Ontario

In Ontario, children two years of age and younger are not required to wear a face mask.

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Individuals whose medical conditions “prevent your ability to wear a face covering” are also exempt, according to the province’s website.

People who cannot put on or remove a mask without someone else’s help also do not need to wear a face mask.

The province said there are also mask exemptions for people who are receiving accommodations according to the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, or the Human Rights Code.

Quebec

Quebec officials have compiled a list of situations in which face masks or face coverings are not required.

Provincial officials say children under the age of 10 – except in long-term care homes and private seniors’ homes – are not required to wear masks.

“However, a mask or face covering is recommended for children between the ages of two and nine and is not recommended for children under the age of two,” the website reads, however, making it clear that children should There are specific rules to be followed while in school.

The province also lists a number of health conditions that may prevent someone from wearing a face mask, including those with facial deformities or who cannot or cannot take off a face covering without assistance.

In Quebec, people with cognitive impairment, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, addiction problems, or serious mental health problems who may not be able to understand mask requirements are also exempt.

People for whom a face covering would cause “significant dislocation or distress” also do not need to wear one.

The province says people who have severe skin conditions on their face or ears that are “significantly aggravated” by wearing masks are not required to do so.

The website also details several situations where removing a face mask would be acceptable. The list includes, but is not limited to, the temporary removal of masks for identification purposes or at a restaurant or food court.

Manitoba

In Manitoba, officials say anyone who “cannot wear a mask properly should not wear it.”

The province says this includes people who can’t put on or remove it without help, or who actively have difficulty breathing.

Children under the age of five are also advised not to wear face masks or covers in Manitoba.

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, face coverings are not required for children two years of age and younger, or for children aged three to twelve who are “not reasonably capable,” reads a provincial health order.

People who are not able to wear a face covering because of a particular health condition as determined by a health care professional, and who have received written confirmation, are also not required to wear one.

The province says that individuals who are unable to understand the need for a face covering due to cognitive impairment, intellectual disability or a serious mental health condition are also not required to wear it.

There are also exemptions for persons speaking on television or at media interviews or conferences, those performing at major services or festivals, or in bands.

Actors performing in film, television or media productions are also exempt for the duration of the scene or performance, but must provide proof of vaccination.

Similar exemptions exist in Saskatchewan for people 18 and older who participate in certain sports or fitness activities.

Alberta

In Alberta, all persons over the age of two are required to wear a mask, unless they qualify for a medical exemption.

By province, health conditions for mask exceptions include:

  • sensory processing disorder

  • developmental delay

  • cognitive impairment

  • Mental illnesses including anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, social identity disorder, and depressive disorder

  • Facial trauma or recent oral maxillofacial surgery

  • Contact dermatitis or allergic reaction to the mask

  • clinically significant acute respiratory distress

The medical exception must be confirmed by a medical exemption letter from a physician, psychologist or nurse practitioner.

The province has also outlined some “general exceptions” for masking, including exemptions for those who are unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance, or for those who are “providing care or support.” or are receiving where a face mask would hinder or aid that care.”

The province also outlines some situations where a face mask would not be required when consuming food or drink.

In other situations, the province says, face masks may be temporarily removed for emergency or medical purposes, or for identification purposes.

British Columbia

In British Columbia, children under the age of 5 are not required to wear a face mask.

Those who have certain health conditions or physical or mental infirmity are also exempted.

According to the state, if you are not able to apply or remove the mask without the help of someone else, then you are also exempted from wearing a face mask.

The province also specifies that if wearing a mask prevents you from communicating with a hearing impaired person, you may be exempt from wearing a mask.

Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, children under the age of two are exempt from wearing a mask, while children between the ages of two and four are exempt if their caregiver cannot get them to wear one.

According to the province’s website, anyone with a “lawful medical reason” is exempt from wearing a mask, as well as “reasonably adjusted for not wearing a mask under the Human Rights Act.”

Those who are unable to remove the mask without help, also do not need to wear a mask.

However, the province maintains that “there are very few medical reasons for not wearing a mask,” and that “chronic lung conditions do not worsen” such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“If you have chronic breathing problems or a mental health condition that causes anxiety, you may be able to work on ways to relieve anxiety (such as wearing a mask for short periods of time at home),” website reads. “You can try different types of masks and choose the one you are comfortable with. You can also talk to a doctor or pharmacist about this.”

The province also outlines situations where masks would not be required, such as when eating or drinking in a restaurant or food court or courtroom.

The province says that masks can also be temporarily removed for identification purposes.

Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland and Labrador, children under the age of five are not required to wear a mask, although children between the ages of two and four are “encouraged” to do so.

Wearing a mask is not recommended for children under the age of two in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Those with special physical conditions or whose mental health prevents them from wearing a mask are exempt, according to the province’s website, although officials say they encourage people to “wear a face shield instead if possible.” Huh.”

The province lists some conditions that may qualify for an exemption:

  • who cannot independently put on or remove the mask

  • people with facial deformities

  • People who, due to cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, an autism spectrum disorder, or a serious mental health condition, are unable to understand the need, or for whom wearing a mask causes “significant distress”

  • Individuals with severe skin conditions on the face or ears that will be “significantly aggravated” by wearing a mask

  • Individuals with severe respiratory conditions or illness “for whom a mask would make their breath worse”

  • who are unconscious or incapacitated

Prince Edward Island

In Prince Edward Island, children under the age of two are not required to wear a mask, nor can children between the ages of two and five “be persuaded not to wear a mask.”

Individuals who cannot remove a mask without assistance, and for some valid medical reason, are also exempt.

However, the province’s website says, “most people with underlying medical conditions can safely wear a mask.”

Individuals in PEI may also be exempted from wearing a mask during certain treatments, services or physical activities, and when eating or drinking.

new Brunswick

On 22 September, a mandatory masking policy was implemented in New Brunswick.

In addition to eating out, masks are mandatory in all indoor public places, including retail businesses, malls, service centers, places of worship, restaurants and bars, according to the province’s website.

They are also mandatory in public places such as weddings or funerals, as well as indoor gatherings held in common areas and shared spaces and on public transport.

Granthshala.ca reached out to the New Brunswick government to determine which people may be exempted from wearing mandatory masks, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

Yukoni

In Yukon…