A sign informing guests of guidelines due to COVID-19 is seen at Playland amusement park at the Pacific National Exhibition, in Vancouver, on Friday, July 10, 2020. The park is now open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a limited number of rides operating under reduced capacity due to COVID-19. Guests must purchase admission ahead of time online for one of two daily time slots and are also required to wear face masks while waiting in lines and while on rides. The park is closed for an hour each afternoon for sanitization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A sign informing guests of guidelines due to COVID-19 is seen at Playland amusement park at the Pacific National Exhibition, in Vancouver, on Friday, July 10, 2020. The park is now open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a limited number of rides operating under reduced capacity due to COVID-19. Guests must purchase admission ahead of time online for one of two daily time slots and are also required to wear face masks while waiting in lines and while on rides. The park is closed for an hour each afternoon for sanitization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Retail Council of Canada asks B.C. to mandate masks to help with aggressive customers

Multiple other provinces have required masks to be worn indoors

The Retail Council of B.C. is urging the government to mandate masks to help stores with aggressive customers.

In a Wednesday (Nov. 18) news release, the council said that retailers in the provinces have followed current B.C. mask advice, and have added masks to their COVID-19 workplace safety plans and posted signs asking customers to wear them.

Speaking at a Monday press conference, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry again declined to mandate masks at a government level. She told reporters that masks were already all but required in most indoor spaces like stores, on ferries and buses and in other businesses.

“There is an order that requires businesses to have COVID safety plans. A retail location, for example, should have plans that include mask wearing. That means making them available to people, making it clear that they need to wear a mask when they’re in those settings, making sure staff need to know when to wear masks as well,” Henry said.

READ MORE: No mask mandate as B.C. breaks records with 1,959 new COVID cases, 9 deaths over weekend

However, the council said that a mask mandate from the government would be more effective than employees and stores trying to enforce their own rules.

“It will greatly help retail workers and store owners who experience aggressive behaviour from customers not wishing to wear face coverings,” said CEO Diane J. Brisebois. “When customers refuse to wear masks in stores, it puts workers and other consumers at risk.”

There have been numerous instances in B.C. of customers trying to get around store mask mandates in recent months. Police were called to a Kelowna Costco on Monday for a customer who refused to adhere to the retailer’s mask policy, and in Trail two people attempted to refuse to wear masks inside stores in October, requiring police intervention.

Other provinces and communities have brought in mask mandates of their own. One goes into effect in Saskatchewan Thursday, while Ontario has had one for longer.

READ MORE: Police called to Kelowna Costco after patron refuses to wear mask

READ MORE: One man fined, another banned from Trail store for refusing to wear masks indoors


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusRetail

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elementary teacher Jo-Ann Lindahl poses with her students following an outdoor ‘closing circle’ in which they discussed what they had learned that day. (Image submitted)
Mission elementary teacher to receive national Indigenous educator award

Jo-Ann Lindahl named a 2020 Guiding the Journey: Educator Award recipient

An employee at a Chilliwack McDonald’s location tested positive for COVID on Nov. 21 (File photo by The Associated Press)
Employee tests positive for COVID-19 at McDonald’s restaurant in Chilliwack

One case was detected at the Vedder Road location, which briefly closed its doors

Cascade Falls Regional Park is one of several Fraser Valley parks that saw record usage during the summer of 2020. (File photo)
Residents flock to Fraser Valley parks amid pandemic

Some trails saw usage double during summer months of 2020

At the current rate of new infections, one in 53 Lower Mainland residents will catch the virus over the weeks to come. (Chart: Tyler Olsen)
GRAPHIC: One in 25 Lower Mainland residents may contract COVID-19 by February if virus continues spread

Moderate increase cases would leave one in 20 Lower Mainland residents with virus by February

A horse on Yale Road West in Chilliwack peeks out from its shelter at the rainy weather on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Several days of rain in forecast for Fraser Valley after single day of sunshine

According to Environment Canada, rain and showers are expected today until Wednesday

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Fraser the Sandhill Crane getting some care for his broken leg. (Special to The News)
Sandhill crane hit by golf ball released back into the wild in Pitt Meadows

The ‘threatened’ bird was captured and operated on after his leg was fractured by an errant ball

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Most Read