Wearing a mask or a face covering

Wearing a mask or a face covering reduces the risk of transmission of several infectious respiratory diseases.

People wearing a mask or face covering are required to continue applying the other protective health measures. For more information, consult the page Steps for limiting the spread of respiratory infectious diseases.

When to wear a mask or a face covering

The following individuals are recommended to wear a mask or a face covering:

  • People who have symptoms of a respiratory infectious disease (cough, sore throat or nasal congestion)
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People who have a health condition that makes them vulnerable
  • People aged 60 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • In the presence of vulnerable people due to their health or age (over 60 years old)
  • In the presence of a baby under 3 months, except for the immediate family
  • In busy places (except schools and daycares)

Healthcare facilities

Masks are required for anyone aged 10 or older going to general or specialized hospital centres (excluding psychiatric hospitals), private or public CHSLDs, a CLSC or medical clinics with a practising physician, nurse or nursing assistant. In these areas, it is also recommended that children aged 2 to 9 wear masks, if they are able to.

An exemption from wearing a mask is possible for people who do not tolerate it or for those with a physical condition, such as:

  • People who, as a result of a cognitive impairment, intellectual deficiency, an autism spectrum disorder, substance abuse or a severe mental health problem, are unable to understand the obligation to wear a mask or are at risk of becoming disorganized or experiencing significant distress as a result of wearing a mask

  • People with a facial deformity

  • People with a severed skin condition on the face or ears that is significantly aggravated by wearing a mask

The mask can also be removed when it interferes with care.


Wearing a mask may be required in some workplaces, particularly for healthcare workers.

To learn more, see the guides and tools produced by the CNESST This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Last update: January 30, 2023


Information on the website in no way replaces the opinion of a health professional. If you have questions concerning your health status, consult a professional.


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