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Why are 'hundreds' of people allowed at Vancouver malls despite 50-person gathering cap?

Last Updated Jun 19, 2020 at 11:50 am PDT

Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver is pictured in this file photo. (Courtesy: vancouver.ca)
Summary

The 50-person cap on gatherings in B.C. does not apply to large shopping centres

Metro Vancouver malls have new rules in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19

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When you have questions, NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.

Question:

Eileen asked: “If there’s a 50-person limit to gatherings, why are there hundreds of people not social distancing at [Vancouver] outlets and Metrotown shopping centres? I was out driving this weekend and drove past these shopping centres and most people did not wear a mask.”

Answer:

The 50-person cap on gatherings is indeed still in force, but it doesn’t apply to malls or large grocery stores.

But, like all B.C. workplaces, malls have to create and post a COVID-19 safety plan.

Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, the province’s largest shopping centre, is asking its patrons to keep two metres apart from other people at all times, limiting elevators to two people at a time and has reduced seating in its food court and common areas.

The mall does not require patrons to wear masks.

“The safety and security of our customers and retailers is our top priority,” Metrotown’s marketing director, Judy Black, told NEWS 1130.

The mall has also installed plexiglass barriers at its service counter, enhanced its cleaning and placed arrows throughout the mall to direct foot traffic.

Cadillac Fairview, which manages both the Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver and Richmond Centre, has implemented many of the same COVID-19 protocols.

The malls are being cleaned more, have new foot traffic flow rules (including one way areas and designated entry and exit doors) and food court seating changes.

Oakridge Centre in Vancouver and several other malls in Metro Vancouver have all implemented a similar suite of pandemic protocols and practices.

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