Vancouver yoga studio flouts COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine passport rules

Feb 4 2022, 12:49 am

A yoga studio with locations in Yaletown and White Rock has been openly flouting BC’s COVID-19 restrictions by refusing to check patrons’ vaccine passports and declining to enforce mask-wearing on the premises.

The Yoga Bar Yaletown has signage posted inside its Homer Street studio saying it will neither tell customers to wear masks nor ask for proof of immunization.

“We respect your medical privacy and will not demand medical information that we have no right to ask for,” the studio’s signs say.

The Yoga Bar YT

@the_yoga_bar_yaletown/Instagram

In a video posted to Instagram, The Yoga Bar founder Oxana Kirsanova claims her policy of inclusivity that welcomes customers who choose to remain unvaccinated is akin to welcoming yogis regardless of their age or skin colour.

“We all know asking for private medical information is wrong … it feels against all our core values,” she says, before asking clients to “heal together.”

A studio patron alerted Daily Hive to the signage and policy, saying they asked for a refund after seeing it. They did note that the studio was checking vaccine passports at its classes before Christmas.

In an email seen by Daily Hive, Kirsanova agreed to refund the customer’s pre-purchased classes.

The Yoga Bar has previously shared pictures on Instagram indicating its support for Operation Green Light, a movement where several BC gyms reopened in January before public health restrictions allowed them to.

The initiative was started by a West Kelowna gym that stayed open through many of the pandemic closures and faced fines for doing so.

Some people took to Twitter to question The Yoga Bar’s tactics, with one user calling studio managers “covidiots.”

According to the BC government’s website, businesses can be issued $2,300 tickets for failing to check vaccination status or abide by capacity limits.

Daily Hive has reached out to the BC government and the Vancouver Police Department for comment, but has not yet heard back.

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