Do you always wear a face mask in indoor public places?
While some British Columbians are delighted that British Columbia officials lifted the mandatory mask policy on July 1, others fear there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Even Prime Minister John Horgan has said he will continue to cover his face, despite the relaxed restrictions.
“I’m going to wear a mask if I’m with a group of people that I don’t know,” Horgan said.
“If I’m on a bus, if I’m on a ferry, if I’m on a plane – these are now recommendations and not guidelines, these recommendations are there for a reason.”
Masks are recommended in indoor public places for all people 12 years of age and older who have not yet been fully immunized. The mask warrant order under the Emergency Programs Act was lifted on July 1 and no proof of vaccination is required.
- You are fully vaccinated 14 days after dose 2
- Some people may choose to continue to wear a mask after being fully immunized and this is okay.
Metro Vancouver residents share their experiences
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said people must continue to support businesses and their employees after the mask’s mandate is lifted. “I ask people to support businesses, protect their workers and live up to their demands,” she said.
While the longest state of emergency in the province’s history will be over, Henry noted that “the public health emergency will remain in place.”
Since the lifting of the order, many residents have turned to social media to share their experiences. Several of them believe that the health and safety of businesses, employees and customers are at risk because of the relaxed rules.
Thanks to the lifting of the mask policy, I will stay at home as I was last year and a little
I don’t think it’s fair to put businesses and employees in the precarious position of dealing with anti-mask sentiments, but I applaud them for taking a stand for community health.
– Blake Gilroy (@Cabadobedia) July 5, 2021
I am completely vaxxed but still respect the mask policy in companies when posting. I can still pass it on to others so until the variations decrease, it’s a small thing to do to protect others.
– Eilis Courtney (@irishec) July 5, 2021
Our apartment building has removed the masking of signs in common areas. It’s not a good decision at this point, and I continue to wear a mask. Likewise, there are more people who are now being exposed on @TransLink vehicles, which is also not ideal. # COVID-19[FEMALE[FEMININE #BCPoli
– win 😷💉💉 (@hmmbee) July 5, 2021
Many people pointed out that they had seen many people without a mask in companies. Some of them said they try to avoid approaching people who have chosen not to wear a mask.
I saw a lot of people with masks and moved away from people without masks. I think the PHO that says masks protect others and now says to wear a mask to protect yourself is contradictory and downright silly.
– S Saxena (@MissSaxena_) July 5, 2021
I was very happy to see that the @RealCdnSS had not changed any of their procedures. Almost everyone wore masks!
– Valri Wright (she / she) (@valriw) July 5, 2021
And while several companies now say masks are “not mandatory,” residents said they have seen the majority of people with masks. Additionally, a number of companies still require customers to wear face coverings.
I went to SaveOnFood on Friday. There was a sign saying that masks are not required. Security and all cashiers wore masks, 90% of customers wore masks. My family will keep the mask. We need to protect children under 12, nobody talks about it.
– Seli (@ SeliVan64) July 5, 2021
I am the executive director of the HiVE coworking space and we keep the mandatory masks until phase 4. Not all of our members and staff are fully vaccinated. We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe.
– Anna Whelan (she / she) (@annajwhelan) July 5, 2021
I saw that Safeway had changed its panels from “Masks Required” to “Masks Appreciated”. That didn’t stop a few people from going by without a mask, but it looked like the majority still had masks on.
– Leo, your … ‘Goach’! (@ LéoMonAmi) July 5, 2021
It was just at Costco. No masks are required now, but at least half, including myself, still wore them indoors.
– Anne MacDonald (@ Canuck1949) July 5, 2021
Extremely disappointed with @saveonfoods Messaging. To make staff / customers safer all they have to say is MASKS ARE RECOMMENDED. I would prefer mandatory but realize that it is difficult to apply without DBH approval. pic.twitter.com/YsMzBF1fqP
– Jo-Anne (@ Jo10030676) July 5, 2021
– Bosley’s In New West (@BosleysColumbia) July 2, 2021
Definitely not. We went to the mall, many stores, grocery store, etc. I would say mask wear dropped to around 60-70% on day one, which I expected. The only store that turned me down was the Apple Store, which I guess has a global corporate mask policy.
– Andrew Hoyer (@andrewoyer) July 2, 2021