Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of Nova Scotia have announced that non-medical masks will be mandatory inside public places beginning July 31.
“As we open our economy, our schools and our communities, we must continue to be vigilant to minimize the impact of a second wave of COVID-19,” said Premier McNeil.
“Wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public places is a key part of how we protect each other and support our local businesses so they can stay open for the long run.”
Indoor public places include:
- retail businesses
- shopping centres
- personal services businesses such as hair and nail salons, spas, body art facilities, except during services that require removing a mask
- restaurants and bars, except while people are eating or drinking
- places of worship or faith gatherings
- places for cultural or entertainment services or activities such as movie theatres, concerts and other performances
- places for sports and recreational activities such as a gym, pool or indoor tennis facility, except while doing an activity where a mask cannot be worn
- places for events such as conferences and receptions
- municipal or provincial government locations offering services to the public
- common areas of tourist accommodations such as lobbies, elevators and hallways
- common areas of office buildings such as lobbies, elevators and hallways, but not private offices
- public areas of a university or college campus, such as library or student union building, but not classrooms, labs, offices or residences
- train or bus stations, ferry terminals and airports
Children under two will be exempt from the rule. Children aged two to four are exempt if their caregiver can’t get them to wear a mask.
People with a valid medical reasons for not wearing a mask are exempt. “There are very few valid medical reasons to not wear a mask,” said Dr. Strang.
“Nova Scotians have made a habit of all the other core public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and now it’s time to also make a habit of wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public settings.”
“I have confidence that Nova Scotians will do the right thing and take care of each other by wearing masks in these settings.”