FREDERICTON -- Beginning Oct. 1, those looking to enter any Service New Brunswick centre will have to have more than just the proper paperwork in hand.

"If we institute a mandatory mask policy we can actually have more people seated inside our centres, we can actually graduate to a one-metre distancing policy, but it needs to be mandatory masks," said Rob Horwood, Service NB's vice-president of public services.

Horwood says the decision comes after lengthy lines were forcing people to wait outside in the elements.

But while the mandate is strongly encouraged, Horwood says it won't necessarily be enforced.

"They will not be refused service, but I will reiterate, for the safety of all customers and all employees, we encourage all customers to come with a mask, otherwise we will provide one for them," Horwood said.

The city of Moncton is also following suit. A decision made at Monday night's city council meeting will make masks mandatory inside all city-owned and operated buildings.

"We're not going to have a COVID police or mask police, that's not the idea," said Conrad Landry, the director of the Emergency Measures Organization."If people forgot their mask, we'll have some available for sure. But just with the strongly encouraged right now, we have almost 100 per cent compliance right now as we speak, so were just kind of putting on paper what's actually going to happen."

Some say they hope New Brunswick will follow Nova Scotia's lead when it made masks mandatory in July.

"I would have liked to have seen the province have a more encompassing directive throughout the province," said Bruce Tait of the City of Moncton. "But I think for the city, now is the right time and therefore were taking that proactive move, but I would like to have seen the province be in-line with the municipalities."

The city mandate goes into effect Sept. 28.