Masks must now be worn at all times in B.C. gyms: minister

Masks must now be worn at all times in B.C. gyms: minister

Gym-goers and people who attend fitness facilities of any kind are now required to wear a mask at all times, including during workouts, B.C.’s public safety minister said Tuesday.

Mike Farnworth said the update to the Emergency Program Act will align the order with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recently updated guidance on mask use in fitness facilities.

“The change to the EPA order allows police and other officials to enforce this new guidance at their discretion,” the ministry said in a news release.

Those who don’t comply with the order to wear a mask at all times in an indoor public space, those who don’t comply with directions to leave the space and people who respond in an abusive manner could be fined $230.

There are some exemptions, however.

“People who cannot wear a mask, or who cannot put on or remove a mask without the assistance of others, are exempt. A person may not be able to wear a mask for a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or due to a physical, cognitive or mental impairment,” it said.

People can report those contravening the rule to their local bylaw office or, if unable to reach them, contact their local police department’s non-emergency line.

Indoor group fitness classes are currently restricted as part of B.C.’s “circuit-beaker” measures to curb COVID-19. The measures are set to expire after the May long weekend.

Jeff LawrenceJeff Lawrence

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