YOUR STORY: Montreal woman with medical condition turned away from store for not wearing a mask


A Montreal woman says she has a medical condition that makes wearing a mask painful and that it's unfair that she's being turned away from some stores. 

"I actually believe in the mask and I'd wear it if I could," said Anne Schlenker.

For the past 37 years, Schlenker has been suffering from nerve damage resulting in hypersensitivity - the form of fibromyalgia means the slightest touch or pressure causes pain to her face or head, including a mask.

"I end up with shooting pain in my face, I end up with toothaches," said Schlenker who reached out to

Schlenker said she was surprised and frustrated when she was recently barred from her local supermarket. 

"I did get a referral from my doctor who clearly outlined that I could not wear a mask and I was told I could not enter the store, that if I entered the store without a mask they would call the police," said Schlenker.

Schlenker carries around her doctor's note just in case - she said her pharmacy and other stores have allowed her in without a mask after she's explained her medical condition and shown them the note. But other stores have told her she would need a mask to enter.

The Quebec government has ordered that anyone in an indoor public place must wear a mask - the new rules started last Saturday.

Quebec Public Health has said that anyone who can't wear a mask because of a medical condition would be exempt from the new policy and that a doctor's note wasn't necessary.

Montreal police have said that they can try to help convince the merchant to allow entry to people with medical exemptions but that the merchant has the last word.

The supermarket in question has since revised its policy and told Schlenker that people with medical conditions will now be allowed in without a mask.

Schlenker said online delivery is possible but not the point.

"The legislation stipulates I have the right to go to the store," said Schlenker.

"People like me, who have a condition and can't wear a mask, we're being punished. It's discrimination."


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