Some Vancouver businesses say they are getting push-back and harassment from customers as they are still enforcing mask mandates in their stores.
The B.C. government lifted the mask mandate last week but it said it would support any businesses who wanted to keep the mandate in place.
Space Salon in Vancouver told Global News Thursday they have even had a client reach out to one of their stylists and tell them co-owner Michael Levine and his wife are “disgusting people for forcing people to wear masks.”
Levine said some of their staff and clients lost loved ones to COVID-19 so they made the decision to keep the mask requirement in place for at least two weeks.
“It was shocking to see how quickly it switched over from everyone has to wear masks to now you don’t have to wear masks,” co-owner Liz Abreu said.
Massy Books, in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood, said staff have been receiving messages about people wanting to drive them out of business and show up in large numbers all at once without masks.
The owners declined to go on camera but said in a tweet they are looking to install a doorbell for customers who wish to come in.
Last week, the B.C. director of the Retail Council of Canada, Greg Wilson, said there will be retail workers and customers who want to continue wearing masks and that must be supported by the public.
“After the requirement ends we are going to ask people to remain kind. We are going to have staff and customers who are going to want to continue to wear masks,” Wilson said.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday that mask-wearing is still recommended indoors where someone is around others not known to them and a safe distance cannot be maintained.
“So they’re acting consistent with good public health advice,” he said. “I admire them.”