Mask requirement for children at Costco’s Nanaimo location frustrates parents

Mask requirement for children at Costco's Nanaimo location frustrates parents
WatchCostco members say for the first time they're being turned away from the Nanaimo store if their children above two aren't wearing a mask.

Some Costco members are taking issue with a mask rule that is now being strictly enforced in Nanaimo.

Numerous parents have reached out CHEK News saying any children older than 2 years old are now required to wear a mask to enter the store.

Hannah Floyd is among the parents who were surprised this past weekend when she was told her two-year-old daughter also needed to wear one.

“I proceeded to try for 15 minutes or so to try and get her to wear the mask and it just wasn’t happening so we weren’t allowed to shop,” said Floyd.

She says she goes to Costco weekly but this was the first time she’s been told the mask rules included her daughter.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I mean shopping alone with kids is a challenge so now worrying about it for if my child is going to wear a mask or not just makes it impossible,” said Floyd.

During Heather Storey’s last visit to Costco, she was also told her four-year-old son had to wear a mask.

“It’s constantly touching his face up and down and he touches everything so I don’t really like him wearing a mask because you know there’s more risk,” said Storey.

Storey says the store’s manager has told her there will be no exceptions, including for one of her other daughters who has a medical exemption. Storey says she’s considering a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal.

The companies website, updated on Nov. 18, says “except for children under two years old, all members, guests and vendors entering a Costco location are required to wear a mask or face shield while inside.”

CHEK News reached out to Costco Wholesale for comment but did not receive a response before broadcast or publication.

The head of Nanaimo’s Chamber of Commerce says while the provincial guidelines recommend children under 12 be exempt a business can set its own safety protocols.

“It just seems a bit of an oddity that and the implementation of a strict guideline like that would seemingly come out of the blue as we feel we’re running towards the end of this current surge,” said Kim Smythe, the chamber’s CEO.

Floyd says requiring her two-year-old to mask-up in stores is totally unrealistic and in the future, she’ll be taking her business elsewhere.

Masks have been manditory in indoor spaces in B.C. since November with exemptions.

Hannah Floyd is among the parents who were surprised this past weekend when she was told by staff at Costco in Nanaimo that her two-year-old daughter also needed to wear a mask. (CHEK News)

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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