Masks are not recommended for children under the age of two, people with illnesses or disabilities that make it difficult to put on or take off a mask without assistance, or those who have trouble breathing while wearing the mask, according to official guidance posted on the Public Health Agency of Canada's website.
Here’s a look at what each province has said about face mask exemptions:
In Ontario, children two years old and younger are not required to wear a face mask.
According to the province’s website, individuals who have a medical condition that “inhibits your ability to wear a face covering” are also exempt.
People who cannot put on or remove a mask without help from someone else are not required to wear a face mask either.
There are also mask exemptions for those receiving accommodations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, or the Human Rights Code, according to the province.
Quebec officials have outlined a list of situations wherein a face mask or face covering is not required.
Provincial officials say children under 10 -- except when in long term care homes and private senior’s homes -- are not required to wear masks.
“However, wearing a mask or face covering is recommended for children between two and nine years of age and is not recommended for children under two years of age,” the website reads, though, it does clarify that children must comply with specific rules while at school.
The province also lists a number of health conditions that might prevent someone from wearing a face mask, including people with facial deformities or who cannot put on or take off a face covering without assistance.
Those with cognitive impairment, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, addiction problems, or severe mental health problems in Quebec are also exempt from the mask requirements.
Those for whom wearing a face covering would cause “significant disorganization or distress” are not required to wear one either.
The province says those with severe skin conditions on their face or ears that would be “significantly aggravated” by wearing a mask are not required to do so.
The website also details a number of situations where removing a face mask would be acceptable. The list includes, but is not limited to, removing a mask momentarily for identification purposes or in a restaurant or food court.
In Manitoba, officials say anyone who “cannot wear a mask properly should not wear one.”
This includes people who can't put one on or take one off without assistance, as well as those who are actively having breathing problems, according to the province.
In Manitoba, children under the age of five should not wear a face mask or covering.
In Saskatchewan, face coverings are not required for children aged two years old and younger, or for those three- to twelve-year-olds who are “not reasonably able” to wear one, a provincial health order reads.
Those who aren’t able to wear a face covering due to 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 individuals who are unable to understand the face covering requirement due to cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability or a severe mental health condition are also not required to wear one.
Individuals who speak on television or in media interviews or conferences, those who lead services or ceremonies, and those who perform in bands are all exempt.
Actors in film, television, and media productions are also exempt from vaccination for the duration of the scene or performance, but must show proof of vaccination.
In Saskatchewan, there are similar exemptions for those aged 18 and up who participate in certain sports or fitness activities.
In Alberta, all individuals over the age of two are required to wear a mask, unless they qualify for a medical exemption.
According to the province, health conditions for mask exceptions include:
Sensory processing disorders
Mental illnesses including anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, dissociative identity disorder and depressive disorders
Facial trauma or recent oral maxillofacial surgery
Contact dermatitis or allergic reactions to masks
Clinically significant acute respiratory distress
The medical exception must be corroborated by a medical exemption letter from a doctor, psychologist or nurse practitioner.
The province has also outlined some “general exceptions” to masking, including exemptions for those who are unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance, or for those who are “providing or receiving care or assistance where a face mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance.”
Face masks are not required in some situations, such as when eating or drinking, according to the province.
Face masks may be removed temporarily for emergency or medical reasons, as well as for identification, according to the province.
In British Columbia, children under 5 years old are not required to wear a face mask.
Those who have some health conditions or physical or mental impairment are also exempt.
According to the province, if you are unable to put on or remove a mask without help from someone else, you are also exempt from wearing a face mask.
The province also specifies that if wearing a mask prevents you from communicating with someone with a hearing impairment, you may be exempt from wearing a mask.
In Nova Scotia, children under two years of age are exempt from wearing a mask, while children between the ages of two to four are exempt if their caregiver can’t get them to wear one.
According to the province’s website, anyone with a “valid medical reason” is also exempt from wearing a mask, as well as anyone who is “reasonably accommodated by not wearing a mask under the Human Rights Act.”
Individuals who are unable to remove a mask without help are also not required to wear one.
The province says, though, that there are “very few medical reasons not to wear a mask,” adding that wearing one “doesn’t worsen chronic lung conditions” like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).’
“If you have chronic breathing problems or a mental health condition that creates anxiety, you may be able to work on ways to overcome the anxiety (like wearing a mask for short periods of time at home),” the website reads. “You can try different type