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TransLink just changed its mask policy for Metro Vancouver transit

Face shields are no longer a suitable option in place of a non-medical mask or face covering
TransLink has announced updates to its mandatory mask policy for transit users in Metro Vancouver. Photo: Getty Images

TransLink says customers must now don face masks while boarding or waiting for transit at any indoor or sheltered stations and stops, as a result of the Provincial Government’s Ministerial Order mandating mask use.

Now, passengers must wear face masks in any sheltered location where people are boarding or waiting for transit, and Transit Police will conduct inquires with anyone not doing so. 

Transit Police will enforce the Ministerial Order and can issue fines of $230, subject to the exemptions set out in the Order.

Customers who observe others not following the rules can report these instances to TransLink’s Customer Information team. This information will help Transit Police target enforcement in problem areas.

Customers should never attempt to enforce the Ministerial Order themselves.

Specific Changes to TransLink's Mask Policy 

 Specific changes customers must now observe are as follows:

  • In addition to transit vehicles, masks are now required at any indoor or sheltered location where people are boarding or waiting for transit, including stations, platforms, bus stops, bus loops, and bus exchanges.
  • Face shields are no longer a suitable option in place of a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • TransLink will suspend the issuance of exemption cards given we are not able to exempt customers from a Ministerial Order.The Ministerial Order does allow for certain exemptions, which can be found here.
  • Transit Police will conduct standard inquiries with any customer not wearing an appropriate mask or face covering

According to the transportation authority, approximately 95 per cent of customers are wearing masks on transit at this time. As such, it expects all customers to comply with the changes required as part of the Ministerial Order.

Violating B.C. mask order can result in a $230 fine

The mask order applies to all British Columbians, 12 years and older, in many indoor public settings including:

  • 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, courthouses, hospitals and hotels
  • common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity
  • common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations

Masks can be removed temporarily when individuals are in a place designated for consuming food or beverages, receiving personal or health service, or required to identify themselves in an indoor public space. 

Read more here.

A Heated Exchange on Vancouver Transit

A video circulating on social media shows a heated exchange on a Metro Vancouver bus where a transit operator yells at a passenger for not donning a face covering. 

In the video, a transit operator tells someone that they have a mask on but that the "other guy didn't." When the prospective passengers question the driver, he responds by yelling: "What do you mean crazy? It is a pandemic!"

Read more here.

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