Time to mask up

Robert wearing a COVID-19 mask

Canada's public health experts are now fully recommending that Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren't sure they will be able to keep their distance from other people.

The advice is slightly stronger than previous recommendations that people should consider wearing a face mask in public.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is now covering his face when he's out of his home, and can't keep a guaranteed two metres away from others.

Meanwhile, the provincial government has recommended face coverings when you can't possibly maintain physical distancing.

Premier Doug Ford says maintaing that 6-foot barrier, and staying home when you feel sick, are the best ways to beat the virus, but he added that "a face covering is better than none at all."

The comments mirror those of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams who has encouraged the use of face coverings when physical distancing isn't possible.

Health officials at all levels say the mask doesn't prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it will protect others from you, if you're an asymptomatic carrier.

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of two, by anyone who has trouble breathing or by those cannot remove the mask themselves, the government said.

Provincial Health Minister Christine Elliot also asked people to not use the medical-grade masks, instead leaving those for front-line workers.

(with files from Canadian Press)