Advertisement

Coronavirus: How will British Columbia’s new mask requirement be enforced?

Click to play video 'How will new mask requirement in B.C. be enforced?' How will new mask requirement in B.C. be enforced?
WATCH: Global's Keith Baldrey has more details on the new order for masks in all public places in B.C., and how it might be enforced – Nov 19, 2020

For the next two weeks, it is now mandated that everyone in B.C. wear a mask while inside a public space, except for those who medically cannot wear one.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday this is part of sweeping new measures to crack down on the province’s second wave of COVID-19.

But a lot of questions remain.

How will the new mask requirement be enforced?

Click to play video 'Masks4Canada welcomes B.C.’s new mandatory mask policy' Masks4Canada welcomes B.C.’s new mandatory mask policy
Masks4Canada welcomes B.C.’s new mandatory mask policy – Nov 20, 2020

Full guidelines are expected to be released on Monday, but Henry said businesses around the province can expect a bigger crackdown on the rules moving forward.

Story continues below advertisement

She said there will be more enforcement and more inspections to make sure everyone is following the rules.

Read more: B.C. to require masks in indoor, public places and extend ban on social gatherings province-wide

“We will be paying particular effort to inspecting COVID safety plans, to making sure they are being adhered to in these settings,” Henry said.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“If we have challenges, if we find they’re not being adhered to, these businesses will be closed down.”

Among the locations where masks will now be mandatory in B.C. are grocery stores, shopping malls, and restaurants when not eating or drinking.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Vancouver restaurant welcomes new mandatory masks rules' Coronavirus: Vancouver restaurant welcomes new mandatory masks rules
Coronavirus: Vancouver restaurant welcomes new mandatory masks rules – Nov 19, 2020

“It does give owners and operators of retail spaces, public spaces, the ability to call on police,” Henry said Thursday if people are not following the rules.

Story continues below advertisement

“It also means that there can be fines and there’s ways that they can deal with employee safety under the Public Safety Act.”

Read more: B.C. reports 765 new COVID-19 cases, one new death

Under the order, employers are expected to enforce the mandatory mask policy with both employees and customers and a customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask.

Here is a full list of where masks are now required in indoor public settings in B.C. People who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt.

  • Malls, shopping centres
  • Grocery stores
  • Coffee shops
  • Common areas in hotels
  • Libraries
  • Clothing stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Drug stores
  • Community centres
  • Recreation centres
  • City halls
  • Restaurants and bars when not seated at a table
  • Common areas in apartment buildings and condos