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Metro Vancouver residents and businesses react to B.C. dropping mandatory mask policy

'I take a wide berth around people with no masks on,' said a local woman
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Some British Columbians are excited that the mandatory mask policy was lifted on July 1, 2021, but others worry there may be a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Are you still wearing a face mask in indoor public settings?

While some British Columbians are excited that B.C. officials lifted the mandatory mask policy on July 1, others worry there may be a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Even Premier John Horgan said he will continue to don a face covering, despite the eased restrictions. 

"I'm going to be wearing a mask if I'm in a with a group of people that I do not know," Horgan said.

"If I'm on a bus, if I'm on a ferry, if I'm on an airplane — these are recommendations now not directives, those recommendations are there for a reason."

Mask guidance

Masks are recommended in public indoor settings for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. The mask mandate order under the Emergency Program Act was lifted July 1 and no proof of vaccination is needed. 

  • You're fully vaccinated 14 days after dose 2
  • Some people may choose to continue to wear a mask after they're fully vaccinated and that's okay

Metro Vancouver residents share experiences

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that people must continue to support businesses and their employees after the mask mandate is lifted. "I ask people to support businesses, to protect their workers, and to live up to their requirements," she said. 

While the longest state of emergency in provincial history will be over, Henry noted the "public health emergency will remain in place."

Since the order was lifted, numerous locals have taken to social media to share their experiences. Several of them feel that the health and safety of businesses, employees and patrons are at risk due to the relaxed rules. 

Many people have pointed out that they have seen numerous people without masks in businesses. Some of them said they are trying to avoid coming close to people who have opted to go maskless. 

And while several businesses now say that masks are "not required," locals reported seeing the majority of people in them with masks on. Additionally, a number of businesses still require customers to don face coverings.