Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, removes his made-in-Calgary mask while announcing a new agreement between Alberta Health Services and a local manufacturer to produce medical equipment, in Calgary on Oct. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta, Saskatchewan not planning to follow B.C. and Manitoba on broad mask mandates

EDMONTON — Alberta and Saskatchewan say they are not planning to follow broad mask mandates announced this week by neighbouring western provinces.

Manitoba and British Columbia are reintroducing mask rules to arrest a rise in COVID-19 case numbers.

Both Alberta and Saskatchewan say that vaccination is the best, most effective route out of the pandemic and continue to urge residents who have not done so to get the two-jab protection.

Alberta Health spokesman Steve Buick notes that mask rules still apply in health-care settings and on public transit in the province.

Manitoba is requiring masks again in all indoor public places, including schools, while also mandating mandatory vaccinations for front-line provincial employees who work with vulnerable populations.

B.C. has brought back an order requiring people to wear masks in all indoor spaces, such as malls, grocery stores and on public transit.