The Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety will issue an order, effective today, requiring those who are able to wear masks in all indoor public and retail spaces. RCC is pleased that British Columbia taken this step to help keep retail workers and customers safe, limit the spread of COVID-19, and keep retail stores open for the vital holiday shopping season. Individuals who refuse to comply may be fined but details of the fine regime have not been announced. RCC will monitor those details and update members.
As retail stores are private property, there is a right to refuse entry if there is no assertion of the duty to accommodate. For those who are not able to wear a mask due to medical reasons, retailers and all employers in British Columbia have a legal duty to accommodate both employees and customers. British Columbians are urged to be kind and understanding, both of retail employees and customers, as the mandatory mask order takes effect. For information on how masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, see here.
The provincial health order limiting social gatherings has been extended for a further two weeks, until December 7 at 12:00 noon, and now applies across the entire province. Religious services, spin classes, hot yoga classes, and high intensity interval training classes are not permitted to continue. Other indoor group physical activities must update their COVID-19 safety plans to adhere to new guidelines, and will be closely monitored. Non-essential travel both within the province and to other parts of Canada is discouraged: travel for work is permitted.
Active inspections will be increased across the province in all business settings to ensure that workers and the public are protected in all workplace settings. Now is the time to be vigilant about capacity limits and physical distancing measures.