What’s Next for Facemasks?

What’s Next for Facemasks?

Since Step 1 of the four step BC Restart Plan (BCRP), residents have asked many questions: when will people from outside Canada be able to visit? Will concerts ever be the same? But perhaps one of the most critical questions that arose with the BCRP (since the beginning of the pandemic) is when will facemasks not be required in indoors places, public transportation or at social gatherings?

The pressure to stop using facemasks is getting to an all-time high, especially with the announcement that fully vaccinated people in the U.S. can stop using facemasks in all public indoor places. Most people who are in favour of stopping the use of facemasks in BC use these guidelines as their main argument when, as a matter of fact, both situations are completely different. The U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) issued the statement for facemasks because over 40% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated. In Canada however, only 5.71% of the population is fully vaccinated as of June 8th, 2021. Then again, the U.S. did not go with a Restart Plan as the one BC is using. So the question remains, when will British Columbia be able to not require face masks?

The use of face masks in indoor settings will become recommended in Step 3 of the plan (starting not earlier than July 1st) and will not become a personal choice until the final step of the BCRP plan (which could start as early as September 7th). In order for the two steps to happen, 70% of the 18+ population needs to have received one vaccine dose and COVID-19 cases need to remain low. However, Dr. Bonnie Henry still reminds us that, “The pandemic isn’t over yet, but BC’S restart plans for better days ahead.” So far, as of June 18,  17.1% of the Canadian population was fully vaccinated.

Israel Lobo

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