Canada's Masks Rules Are So Different Across The Country & Some Spots Don't Even Have Any

To mask or not to mask?
Canada's Masks Rules Are So Different Across The Country & Some Spots Don't Even Have Any

Canada has been working seemingly day and night to curb the spread of COVID-19, but as we now know the country's efforts are only as good as all the provinces and territories coming together in the fight. 

It looks like the True North, despite being one nation, has different perspectives on mask mandates and their level of urgency.  

Where some provinces have implemented strict pandemic measures such as mandatory masks, others have taken a more leisurely route. 

Of the 13 provinces and territories in Canada, only a couple of them do not officially require you to wear masks.  

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Does Canada have a national mask mandate? 

Although Canada, in theory, is one functioning body, its vast and large provinces and territories are governed in extremely different ways.   

In fact, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it best in explaining that Canada is a federation, so its federal government is not higher than provincial governments.

Each region also has free rein to make their own decisions about health measures, which is why so many of the rules differ.  

However, even without a national mandate, there are still daily recommendations from Trudeau's government and Canada's top doctor about wearing masks.   

What provinces and territories don't have one? 

To date, it seems like only one province and one territory are not as strict with their mask rules and have only recommended it on their government websites: Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

On the contrary, many other provinces have either just made masks mandatory or have already had these rules in place.

B.C., Ontario, Nunavut, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and P.E.I. all have mandatory mask-wearing policies in place that must be followed. The rules include wearing a mask in most public spaces and when on public transportation. 

Manitoba, however, has had mask mandates at certain points during the pandemic as their cases spiked but hasn't had a long-term policy since and makes no mention of masks being mandatory on their website.

What are the rules in those provinces instead?

Both Alberta and Northwest Territories recommend the use of masks, referring to it either as an additional measure to protect others around you and yourself, or a tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

"It hasn’t been proven that masks protect the person wearing it, but it can help protect people from being exposed to your germs," The government of Alberta's website said.

Those regions equally do not mention masks being required but do have other COVID-19 measures they encourage like social distancing and hand washing.

N.W.T. has one of the lowest virus case counts in the entire country, with 15 active cases as of Thursday, and has been known for being strict in other pandemic-related measures, according to CBC News.

Alberta is a different story altogether. The province has 42,797 active cases as of Thursday. 

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