The City of Richmond has made the wearing of masks mandatory in all indoor City-operated facilities effective Sunday, November 1.
‘“Richmond has some of the lowest COVID-19 rates in Metro Vancouver,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Much of that is attributed to proactive measures such as regularly wearing masks. We want to continue to enhance and protect the safety and well-being of the community by asking everyone who enters a City facility to put on a mask. It is the safe thing to do. It is the right thing to do.”
Masks will be required when entering and while inside City-operated community centres, libraries, arenas and ice centres, Minoru Centre for Active Living, Fire-Rescue facilities and City Hall, as well as the Richmond Olympic Oval. It will also apply to community facilities such as the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, Steveston Museum, and the Richmond Art Gallery and Museum.
Exceptions will be permitted for people with sensory, cognitive, or physical disabilities; those with chronic health conditions who are unable to wear a face covering; and children age five and under.
Customers using a facility for physical activity (i.e., taking a fitness class or swimming) will not be required to wear a mask during their activity but must wear one when entering, leaving, and moving around the building.
Mayor Brodie said anyone refusing to comply with the mandate will initially be unable to enter the City facility, but staff will provide them with a disposable mask if they require one.
“Our intent is to implement this important safety step through education,” he said. “We will not issue fines or tickets to a person who refuses to wear a mask and make it clear that we will not serve them without one. Our hope is people will understand the importance of this step and recognize the positive impact it will have on their safety and the safety of others.”
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Along with the required wearing of masks, the City’s safety plans and strict protocols will continue to be in place at the various City facilities. This includes physical distancing, safety barriers and other procedures based on the location, service, and activity. Anyone with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or who has returned from outside Canada in the previous 14 days is asked not to enter any City building.
City staff are already required to wear masks in all indoor City-operated facilities when in direct contact with others. Buildings such as City Hall have been upgraded with safety barriers, directional signs and other measures to further protect customers, visitors, and staff.
While the requirement comes into effect on November 1, people are encouraged to begin wearing masks immediately when using a City-operated facility as an added safety measure. Wearing a mask is not an alternative to physical distancing, regular hand washing, staying home when feeling sick and all other COVID-19 health guidelines.
More information on the mask guidelines is available on the city’s website.