Anyone who refuses to wear a mask in a B.C. fitness facility can now be slapped with a fine.
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced today (May 18) that police and other officials can now issue a $230 violation ticket to anyone who refuses to wear a mask at fitness facilities, including during workouts.
Police can also be called to assist with anyone who is abusive or threatening in response to being asked to wear a face covering. Face shields are not accepted as a substitute for a mask since there is an opening below the mouth, notes a press release.
On May 7, guidance from the provincial health officer's indoor individual exercise document stated masks are required in fitness studios but fines were not included at that time.
Farnworth says fitness facilities include gyms, fitness studios and dance studios.
Those who can't wear a mask, or who can't put on or remove a mask without the assistance of someone else, are exempt. A person might not be able to wear a mask for behavioural, psychological or health conditions or due to cognitive or mental impairment.
The Ministry of Health says anyone reporting a non-emergency event should contact their local government's bylaw office. Bylaw officers can help with following up on concerns and involve police departments and WorkSafeBC as necessary.
Anyone who is unable to get in touch with bylaw is asked to call their local police department's non-emergency line.
As part of B.C.'s circuit-breaker restrictions, all indoor, adult group activities have been suspended until at least after the May long weekend. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only.