Medical masks are now mandatory at all times in all Quebec workplaces

The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (“CNESST”) has decided to make it mandatory, as of April 8, 2021, to wear a medical mask or a mask certified by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ), at all times in all workplaces in Quebec.

A mask will now be required in all circumstances, not just in common areas or when a physical distance of two (2) meters cannot be maintained. This mask must now be a medical mask, as opposed to a homemade mask.

There is one possible exception, aside from meal breaks. In its statement, the CNESST indicated that the use of the medical mask “is limited to situations requiring protection from droplets.” Hence, individuals will not have to wear their medical mask while working alone in a closed office. 

It should also be noted that wearing a medical mask continuously will not be mandatory in the following situations:

  • for health reasons;
  • if it interferes with communication, understanding, or learning;
  • if it prevents the performance of job-related duties.

To support efforts to end the pandemic, we recommend that all Quebec workplaces rigorously apply the public health recommendations in their entirety: work from home as much as possible, install physical barriers in the workplace, implement physical distancing and stagger meal breaks to avoid gatherings of personnel.

In addition to these measures, a medical mask (not a homemade mask) must now be worn at all times. To eliminate ambiguity, employers could consider maintaining a supply of medical masks to offer to their employees and any workplace visitors.

Do not hesitate to contact our team for any clarification about this announcement.

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