Refusing to wear a mask in B.C. now carries $230 fine | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Refusing to wear a mask in B.C. now carries $230 fine

Image Credit: Pexels / Anna Shvets
November 25, 2020 - 8:42 AM

New rules enacted today, Nov. 25, make it mandatory to wear masks in many public spaces in B.C. Those refusing can be fined $230.

The new rule was imposed by Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and comes with the extension of the provincial state of emergency to, at least, the end of the day on Dec. 8.

"Last week, the PHO (Provincial Health Officer) provided guidance that masks should be worn in all indoor public places," Farnworth said in a news release. “These measures give police and other enforcement officials the tools to intervene with and penalize problematic individuals and groups." 

Businesses should post signs stating the masks are now mandatory and bylaw officers should be called if customers don’t obey. If bylaw officers aren’t available, people are asked to call RCMP non-emergency lines.

Places covered by the mandatory mask policy include malls, shopping centres, stores, airports, city halls and public buildings, restaurant and bars, common areas of office buildings, hotels, and court houses, places of public worship along with public transit, fitness centres, taxi’s and ride hailing services and more.

“Working with public health officials, Emergency Management BC anticipates issuing further orders to enforce requirements for masks in common areas of apartment buildings, condos and workplaces,” the news release states. “This first order covers the high-traffic public settings where people who do not know each other often interact.

Mask need to cover the nose and mouth. Face shields are not acceptable substitutes for masks.

“A person may not be able to wear a mask for a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or due to a physical, cognitive or mental impairment,” the news release states. “Masks may be removed temporarily in indoor public places to identify the individual wearing the mask, to consume food or beverage at a location designated for this purpose, while participating in a sport or fitness activity in a sport facility or while receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.”

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