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Police say Vancouver Islanders continue to violate mandatory mask policy

With new provincial health orders, comes fines for those who refuse to follow them.

Constable Maury Tyre of the Campbell River RCMP says police keep getting calls from businesses and customers, regarding people who refuse to wear face masks in public.

“Fines and arrests are absolutely the last action we want to be taking, but if people continue to push boundaries, it’s going to happen,” he says.

Tyre is reminding those who would rather not wear a mask, that there are other options to get the items they may be seeking in stores. This includes online shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery.

“I recognize there are dissenting opinions and multiple other concepts that can be found online regarding the present mask policies,” he says, “but right now these are the rules and laws that are being applied equally across the province.”

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Being aggressive towards a store employee is not going to change the laws, Tyre says, however, he adds that it’s more than likely going to get you fined or arrested.

If you’re at a store and you’re being asked to wear a mask, but have a medical disability that prevents you from wearing one, Tyre is encouraging you to let staff know right away.

“Your particular diagnosis is your business, but the location you are entering is their business,” he says.

“A suggestion could possibly be a doctor’s note simply excusing you from wearing a mask, without diagnosis on it, much the same way as employers may require an employee to bring in a doctor’s note if they have been sick for any length of time.”

In the end, Tyre says people are doing their best to try and deal with the ongoing pandemic. He’s asking you to always keep this in mind, while also treating others how you would want to be treated.

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