Anyone who is caught without a mask in an indoor public place or who refuses to comply with the mandatory mask policy in B.C. will be handed a $230 fine.
The province made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, as health officials reported a staggering 941 new cases ofCOVID-19and 10 new deaths.
As of Nov. 19, masks are required to be worn in almost all indoor public places.
A fine can also be issued if someone refuses to leave a public place or responds with abusive or belligerent behaviour when asked to wear a mask where required.
The law requires people to wear masks in the following places:
Malls, shopping centres, coffee shops, and retail and grocery stores
Liquor and drug stores
Airports, city halls, libraries, and community and recreation centres
Restaurants, pubs and bars
Places of public worship
On public transit and in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle
Common areas of office buildings, courthouses, hospitals and hotels
Common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity
Common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations
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 law defines a mask or face covering as a medical or non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth. Face shields are not a substitute for a mask, as there is an opening below the mouth.
People who cannot wear a mask or who cannot put on or remove a mask without the assistance of others are exempt. The province notes 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.
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.
To report non-emergency contraventions of this mask order, people are asked to contact their local government’s bylaw office.
Local bylaw officers can help follow-up on concerns and engage police departments and WorkSafe BC as necessary.
If they are unable to reach a local bylaw office, they can contact their local police department’s non-emergency line. Police may be called if someone has become threatening or abusive in response to a request to put on a mask.
Masks are not recommended for children under the age of two, but should be encouraged for children aged two to 12 in public settings. Children over 12 must wear a mask in a public indoor space, unless they are exempt.
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