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The Province of BC and the Solicitor General Mike Farnworth have extended the state of emergency and implemented new fines for those refusing to wear a mask in public spaces.

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, or who responds with abusive or belligerent behaviour, may be subject to a $230 fine.

"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."

To report non-emergency contraventions of this mask order, people are asked to contact their local government's bylaw office. Local bylaw officers can help follow-up on concerns and engage police departments and WorkSafe BC as necessary. If they are unable to reach a local bylaw office, they can contact their local police department's non-emergency line. Police may be called if someone has become threatening or abusive in response to a request to put on a mask.

This ministerial order on masks ensures a co-ordinated response to COVID-19. Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older, in many indoor public settings. These include:

* malls, shopping centres, coffee shops, and retail and grocery stores;

* liquor and drug stores;

* airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;

* restaurants, pubs and bars;

* places of public worship;

* on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;

* common areas of office buildings, court houses, hospitals and hotels;

* common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity; and

* common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations.


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