Information current

The government toll-free, general information number 1-800-661-0408 is not working. Call 867-393-6930 or 867-393-6931 instead. 

December 2, 2021

Find current health measures. For COVID-19 medical questions, phone 811; non-medical questions, email covid19info@yukon.ca.

Wearing a mask during COVID-19

From November 13, 2021, you must wear a mask:

  • in all indoor public places; and
  • in outdoor public settings when you cannot keep physically distanced.

School students must wear a mask when they're in a classroom and when they're seated at their desks.

Download and display a poster on mask wearing.

Why we’re wearing masks

With COVID-19 cases increasing across Canada and in the Yukon, it’s more important than ever that all Yukoners work together to slow the spread of the virus. Some people can spread the virus when they have very mild symptoms or may not know that they have COVID-19.

Masks are 1 of many tools we use to protect ourselves, our social group and our community against the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For the best protection, wear a mask and:

  • get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • stay home when sick;
  • physically distance; and
  • wash your hands frequently.

Masks alone cannot stop the spread of COVID-19.

What is a non-medical mask?

A non-medical mask is any mask that is homemade or commercially made, and is not regulated for medical use.

Well-designed and well-fitting masks can prevent the spread of infectious respiratory droplets that people spread when they are breathing, talking, laughing, singing, yelling, coughing or sneezing .

A non-medical mask should be:

  • large enough to completely and comfortably cover your nose, mouth and chin without gaping;
  • allow for easy breathing;
  • fit securely to your head with ties or ear loops (consider adjustable masks);
  • changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty; and
  • comfortable.

A non-medical mask should be made of three layers of fabric, including two layers of tightly-woven fabric, with a filter or filter fabric between layers. A filter should be used in any two layer mask that has a pocket for a filter.

What is not a mask?

A face shield does not replace a mask.

A face shield is used to protect the eyes of the person wearing it and is commonly worn with a mask. It does not protect:

  • you from potentially inhaling infectious respiratory droplets exhaled by others; or
  • others from your infectious respiratory droplets, as they can escape around the face shield.

For people who are unable to wear a mask a face shield is an alternative to no mask. Use a face shield that wraps around your face and extends below the chin.

What is a public space?

The following list includes examples of what is considered an indoor public space.

  • Shopping centres, malls and retail businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing stores, sporting good stores, liquor stores
  • Service businesses such as mechanics, dry cleaners and bookkeepers
  • Locations that provide personal services or healthcare provider services, except if you need to remove the mask to provide or receive the service
  • Restaurants, bars and other places selling food or drink, except while you’re seated at a table
  • Places of public worship or a faith gathering
  • Places for sports, fitness and dance activities, except during a physical activity
  • Places where non-profit organizations provide goods or services to the public
  • Movie theatres, art centres, concert halls, billiard halls, museums and libraries
  • Conference centres, community centres, community halls or other places that host events, courses or workshops
  • Indoor common areas of
    • office buildings;
    • government buildings, other than a school;
    • multi-unit residential buildings;
    • hospitals;
    • hotels, bed and breakfasts, rental cabins; and
    • Yukon University campuses, such as libraries, classrooms and hallways
  • Entrances of daycare centres and day homes
  • Taxis, vehicles used for commercial ride sharing, shuttles or other vehicles for hire
  • Public transit bus, or other vehicle transporting the public whether or not a fee is charged

Who does not have to wear a mask?

  • Children under the age of 5 do not have to wear a mask.
    • Children under the age of 2 should not wear a mask.
    • Children between the ages of 2 and 4 are encouraged to wear a mask if they're supervised. This will depend on their ability to tolerate it as well as put it on and take it off.
  • If someone cannot remove a mask on their own, they should not wear a mask.
  • People may be unable to wear a mask because of a psychological or health condition, cognitive impairment or an intellectual disability.
  • People speaking during a television or other media news interview or conference.

Be respectful of a person who cannot wear a mask.

When you do not have to wear a mask

There are situations or settings that do not require people to wear a mask. These include the following situations.

  • Inside workplaces that do not have public access or provide services to the public.
  • While seated at a table in an indoor restaurant, bar or other place selling food or drink.
  • When engaged in a physical activity including a sport, fitness or dance.
  • If someone needs to remove a mask to provide or receive a service. For example, a dental procedure.

Despite the exceptions listed above, nothing prevents an employer or owner of an indoor public space from having reasonable masking requirements that are stricter.

Putting on, removing and cleaning your mask

A mask should only be used by 1 person and should never be shared.

While wearing a mask, it's important that you try not to touch the mask. If you do touch your mask or face, make sure you immediately wash your hands.

You should remove and change your mask if it becomes damp or soiled. You should clean and change masks often. Holes and damage to cloth masks will further reduce their protective benefits.

See the How to wear a mask poster for more information on how to properly put on and take off a mask or watch this video.

How to put on your mask or face covering

  1. Wash your hands:
    • in soap and water for at least 20 seconds; or
    • with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 per cent alcohol.
  2. Inspect the mask and make sure it's clean and dry.
  3. Make sure your hair is away from your face.
  4. Place the mask or face covering over your nose and mouth and secure it to your head or ears with ties or elastic loops.
  5. Wash your hands.

How to remove your mask or face covering

You should remove and change your mask or face covering if it becomes damp or soiled. Homemade or cloth masks should be cleaned and changed often. Breakdown of the material, holes and damage to cloth masks will further reduce their protective benefits.

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. If you're disposing of your mask, put it in a wastebasket lined with a plastic bag.
  3. If you plan to reuse your mask, remove the mask and put in the washing machine. You can also put the mask in a paper bag if you do not have immediate access to a washing machine.
  4. Wash your hands.

How to clean your mask

  1. Wash it according to the directions of the original material; warmer water is better.
  2. Dry it completely, if possible, in a dryer and on a warm or hot setting.
  3. In order to minimize the spread of germs and particles, do not shake dirty masks.

Find more information

These trusted organizations provide accurate information about masks and face coverings.

How to make your own cloth mask

Download patterns from the Government of Canada.

Where to buy a mask

Several stores in the Yukon sell non-medical reusable or disposable masks. You can also order masks from online stores.

Hand hygiene

Download our hand washing sign to put up in your workplace or in your home.

More resources

Download our posters to put up in your workplace or your home.

When to wear a mask

The risk of being infected by COVID-19 increases with factors including the 3 Cs. Your risk is lower if you can avoid them.

The 3 Cs are:

  • closed spaces with poor ventilation;
  • crowded places with large numbers of people; and
  • close contact where it’s difficult to physically distance from others.

If you are not sure when to wear a mask ask yourself these questions to help you decide.

  • How many people will be in the space?
  • What are the risks of the space everyone’s in?
    • Is it large or small relative to the number of people in the space
    • Is it well-ventilated? Are windows and doors open?
    • Is it cleaned regularly?
    • Is it well-managed? Can you maintain proper physical distancing?
  • Is it likely that the people around you are fully vaccinated?
  • What’s the case activity in your community at this time?
  • Will you have prolonged exposure to people?
Guidance for children

5 years and older

We strongly recommend masks in indoor public settings for everyone aged 5 years and older who is not yet fully vaccinated.

 

Children between 2 and 4 years

Children between 2 and 4 years old can wear a mask if they tolerate it well.

 

Children under 2 years

Children under 2 should not wear masks.

People who cannot remove their own mask

If someone cannot remove a mask on their own, they should not wear a mask.

People who are fully vaccinated

Even in times when COVID-19 activity is low, some people who are fully vaccinated may choose to wear a mask, especially when:

  • they're at risk of severe disease or outcomes;
  • they are not aware of the vaccine status of others around them; or
  • maintaining proper physical distancing is difficult.
People who serve the public

We encourage everyone who serves the public to wear a mask. This includes restaurant servers, retail and grocery store staff and hair stylists and barbers.

Businesses and organizations

Businesses and organizations may choose to follow their own policies and guidelines that are stricter than this guidance.

Health care providers and facilities

Health care facilities and health care providers should continue with masking policies in accordance with recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Masks in Yukon airports

Mask guidelines for travellers at Yukon airports are based on Canadian federal requirements and are the same throughout the airport terminal.

You must wear a mask when you’re in the restricted areas of an airport. Find out more about the federal requirements when you’re travelling by air.

We strongly recommend that you also wear a mask:  

  • in entrance ways;
  • at ticket counters;
  • in waiting areas before you go through security screening; and
  • in baggage areas.

The risk of being infected by COVID-19 increases with factors including the 3 Cs. Your risk is lower if you can avoid them.

The 3 Cs are:

  • closed spaces with poor ventilation;
  • crowded places with large numbers of people; and
  • close contact where it’s difficult to physically distance from others.

If you are not sure when to wear a mask ask yourself these questions to help you decide.

  • How many people will be in the space?
  • What are the risks of the space everyone’s in?
    • Is it large or small relative to the number of people in the space
    • Is it well-ventilated? Are windows and doors open?
    • Is it cleaned regularly?
    • Is it well-managed? Can you maintain proper physical distancing?
  • Is it likely that the people around you are fully vaccinated?
  • What’s the case activity in your community at this time?
  • Will you have prolonged exposure to people?

5 years and older

We strongly recommend masks in indoor public settings for everyone aged 5 years and older who is not yet fully vaccinated.

 

Children between 2 and 4 years

Children between 2 and 4 years old can wear a mask if they tolerate it well.

 

Children under 2 years

Children under 2 should not wear masks.

If someone cannot remove a mask on their own, they should not wear a mask.

Even in times when COVID-19 activity is low, some people who are fully vaccinated may choose to wear a mask, especially when:

  • they're at risk of severe disease or outcomes;
  • they are not aware of the vaccine status of others around them; or
  • maintaining proper physical distancing is difficult.

We encourage everyone who serves the public to wear a mask. This includes restaurant servers, retail and grocery store staff and hair stylists and barbers.

Businesses and organizations may choose to follow their own policies and guidelines that are stricter than this guidance.

Health care facilities and health care providers should continue with masking policies in accordance with recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Mask guidelines for travellers at Yukon airports are based on Canadian federal requirements and are the same throughout the airport terminal.

You must wear a mask when you’re in the restricted areas of an airport. Find out more about the federal requirements when you’re travelling by air.

We strongly recommend that you also wear a mask:  

  • in entrance ways;
  • at ticket counters;
  • in waiting areas before you go through security screening; and
  • in baggage areas.