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."
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.
Thanks to the lifting of mask policy I'll be keepin' home as I have been this past year and bit— Blake Gilroy (@Cabadobedia) July 5, 2021
I don't think its fair to put businesses and employees in the precarious position of confronting anti-mask sentiments, but I applaud them on taking a stance for community health
Am full vaxxed but still respect the mask policy in businesses when posted. I can still transmit it to others so until the variants reduce, its a small thing to do to protect others.— Eilis Courtney (@irishec) July 5, 2021
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.
Our apartment building has removed the masking in common areas signs. This is not a great move at this point, and I'm continuing to wear a mask. Similarly, there are more people going unmasked now on @TransLink vehicles which is also not ideal. #COVID19 #BCPoli— 🐝win 😷💉💉 (@hmmbee) July 5, 2021
Seen lots of people with masks on and I take a wide berth around people with no masks on. I think the PHO saying masks protect others and then now saying wear a mask to protect yourself is contradictory and frankly, silly.— S Saxena (@MissSaxena_) July 5, 2021
I was super happy to see that the @RealCdnSS had not changed any of their procedures. Almost everybody was wearing masks!— Valri Wright (she/her) (@valriw) July 5, 2021
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.
Went to SaveOnFood on Friday. There was a sign saying masks are not required. Security and all cashiers had the masks on, 90% of customer had the masks on. My family will keep the mask on. We need to protect kids under 12, no one talks about them.— Seli (@SeliVan64) July 5, 2021
I’m the Executive Director of the HiVE Coworking Space and we’re keeping masks mandatory until phase 4. Not all of our members and staff are fully vaccinated. We want to ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe.— Anna Whelan (she/her) (@annajwhelan) July 5, 2021
I saw Safeway changed their "Masks required" signs to "Masks appreciated". Didn't stop a few folks from going maskless, but seemed majority still had masks on.— Leo, Your... 'Goach'! (@LeoMyFriend) July 5, 2021
Was just at Costco. No masks required now but at least half, including myself, still wore them while inside.— Anne MacDonald (@Canuck1949) July 5, 2021
Extremely disappointed in @saveonfoods messaging. To make staff/ customers safer all they need to say are MASKS ARE RECOMMENDED. I’d prefer required but realize hard to enforce without DBH’s endorsement. pic.twitter.com/YsMzBF1fqP— Jo-Anne (@Jo10030676) July 5, 2021
An announcement regarding mask policy in our store 😷 Thank you for your understanding. #yourpetyourstore #newwest #supportlocal pic.twitter.com/MWV8FG1vPj— Bosley's In New West (@BosleysColumbia) July 2, 2021
Definitely not. We went to the mall, numerous stores, grocery, etc. I'd say mask wearing dropped to about 60 - 70% on day one which is what I expected. The only store that turned me away was the Apple Store, who I assume has a worldwide corporate mask policy.— Andrew Hoyer (@andrewhoyer) July 2, 2021