SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask has become second nature for most New Brunswickers, but the city of Saint John is looking to clear up any confusion when it comes to what to do when you're outside.

It has issued more than one reminder this month alone, that wearing a face covering in the outdoors is mandatory.

In an email, city spokesperson Lisa Caissie writes "with the changes we have experienced in recovery levels over the past month,we felt as though some people may not have been aware of the requirements to wear a mask in outdoor public spaces, such as busy sidewalks, trails, and parks."

All of New Brunswick, with the exception of Edmundston, is now in the orange level of the province's pandemic recovery plan.

Under that level, masks have to be worn indoors -- and are required in outdoor public spaces if you can't maintain six feet of distance from another person.

"The policy has been if you are not in midst of other people, if you're not having a conversation outside, you can be free to not wear a mask," said New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. "And wear your mask when you know you're going to be having an encounter with people and we encourage you to always stay six feet apart."

Dr. Jeff Steeves is the president of the New Brunswick Medical Society .

"As you get closer to someone, you're breathing and you're exhaling, and it doesn't take that many particles to inoculate the person," Steeves said.

Steeves says also says masks and distancing are all the more important given the increase in transmissibility of the COVID-19 variants and are two tools that people can rely on as we continue down this path of the pandemic.