Both BC Ferries and BC Transit have brought back their mandatory mask policies.
The mandate follows Tuesday’s announcement by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, stating that regardless of vaccination status, masks will once again be mandatory in all indoor spaces for people 12 and over.
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For BC Ferries, the measure will apply on all BC Ferries vessels and at terminals. Exceptions include if a passenger is inside a vehicle or consuming food or drinks in designated areas, such as the cafeteria.
Customers who have an underlying medical condition or disability that inhibits them from wearing masks will also be exempt. According to a statement from BC Ferries, passengers may be required to present documentation from a healthcare professional.
Similarly, the mask requirement has been brought back for all BC Transit services across the province.
“Our ongoing goal is to create a comfortable and safe environment for all customers and drivers,” BC Transit says in a statement. “This includes the mandatory use of face coverings on buses and at bus stops, unless a customer meets the exemption criteria.”
Additional health and safety measures will remain in place, such as enhanced cleaning and sanitization of buses and facilities, protective barriers between drivers and customers, and encouraging passengers to stay home if they are sick.
Both BC Ferries and BC Transit relaxed their mandatory mask policies on July 1, as the province entered Step 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan. They were first put into effect in August 2020.
As of Wednesday, health officials announced 698 new test-positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 161,969.
To date, 83.5% of all eligible people 12 and over have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 75.4% have received their second dose.