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

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. (File photo)
North Cowichan considers extending deadline for property tax payments

A two-month deadline extension to Sept. 1 gets three readings

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Letters to the Editor.
Speedy service by operations department

North Cowichan responds to deplorable conditions at Askew Creek Park

The Yellow Sub Machine has been open for business for nearly two months. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Pandemic pivot leads to the creation of the Yellow Sub Machine for gourmet sub grub

Former Odika owners stake their claim in the food truck business

Letters to the Editor.
Southern tribute brings back abundant memories

Growing up a great time with a friend lost far too soon

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Most Read