A January 29 briefing note from Dr. Theresa Tam's Public Health Agency of Canada recommended against wearing face coverings while travelling.
The note was circulated one week after mandatory mask orders were handed down in the coronavirus quarantine zones in Wuhan and other parts of China.
Using a question-and-answer format, the note read:
“Do you recommend travelers wear masks while visiting China or quarantine-blocked cities within the country such as Wuhan?
“No, It is not recommended that healthy travelers wear masks while visiting China or quarantine-blocked cities within the country.”
Mandatory masks for travellers were not required in Canada until April 20.
The first guidelines handed to Canadians from Dr. Tam wasn't exactly medical advice:
I am concerned about the growing number of reports of #racism and stigmatizing comments on social media directed to people of Chinese and Asian descent related to #2019nCOV #coronavirus. #EndStigma
That’s political advice. If you’re worried about the virus, you’re a racist.
According to the January briefing note as reported by Blacklock's:
“We have multiple systems in place to prepare for, detect and respond in to prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases in Canada, and are confident in our capacity to prevent further spread and transmission of Covid-19,” said the Agency.
Nearly 9,000 Canadians have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak began.
To learn more about mask laws in Canada and to get an exemption card, please visit MaskExemption.ca.