(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

B.C.’s mask mandate is now backed by provincial enforcement, which means if British Columbians don’t follow the new rule they can be fined $230.

Last week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry rolled out a new health order declaring that non-medical masks must be worn while inside indoor public spaces – including retail spaces. On Tuesday (Nov. 24), Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced the mandate also is now part of the Emergency Program Act.

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older, in many indoor public settings. Face shields or other coverings will not suffice under these new rules.

“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,” a statement from the ministry reads.

“This first order covers the high-traffic public settings where people who do not know each other often interact.”

Anyone without a mask in an indoor public place or who refuses to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave the space, may be subject to a $230 fine.

Under the current provincial laws, local bylaw officers, police and other provincial compliance enforcement officers have the power to issue this fine. If violation tickets don’t act as a deterrent against a repeat offender, police can also recommend charges to Crown.

In recent days, several business owners have reported incidents where customers refuse to abide by the rules, in some cases leading to response by police.

“Education is key, which is why we’re having businesses review their plans and getting the word out to communities in several languages,” Farnworth said.

“Businesses should provide signage on the mandatory mask policy and inform customers about the requirement. Of course, despite any range of efforts, some people will break the rules knowing full well what they’re doing. These measures give police and other enforcement officials the tools to intervene with and penalize problematic individuals and groups.”

Those who cannot wear a mask due to a physical or cognitive impairment are exempt from the mandate.

The public safety update comes as B.C. recorded 695 new infections on Tuesday, as well as 10 more deaths.

ALSO READ: B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Caleb Wykes, Jade Daniel and Alicia Dennis celebrate Australia Day at the Fernie Hotel and Pub. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Fernie Hotel celebrates the land down under

Sausages sizzled and Vegemite was spread as The Fernie Hotel celebrated Australia Day on Jan. 26.

Teck today announced the development of a new centralized office building in Sparwood, B.C. File photo
What’s in a brand? Sparwood logo turns 10

The five-point star and branding has adorned the district’s properties since 2011

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

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

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Most Read