RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) — Masks will be mandatory in all city-operated buildings in Richmond as of Sunday.
Mayor Malcolm Brodie says Richmond has some of the lowest COVID-19 rates in Metro Vancouver, and attributes much of that 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,” he adds. “It is the safe thing to do. It is the right thing to do.”
Masks will be required at — among other places — community centres, libraries, arenas, fire halls and city hall, as well as the Richmond Olympic Oval. The policy also applies to community facilities such as the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, Steveston Museum, and Richmond Art Gallery and Museum.
The rule does not apply to children under the age of six, or anyone who can’t wear them for medical reasons.
#RichmondBC is making masks mandatory in all city-operated buildings as of Nov. 1. #Vancouver recently voted to “strongly recommend” ‘s in city buildings rather than make them mandatory.@NEWS1130 BG: https://t.co/IiN8J6IJ4L
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) October 30, 2020
People are not required to wear masks in city buildings during physical activity, such as fitness classes or swimming. However, masks must be worn when entering and leaving city buildings after such activity.
Brodie says anyone who refuses to comply with the mask policy won’t be allowed to enter city buildings, although staff will provide disposable ones if needed.
“Our intent is to implement this important safety step through education,” he adds. “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.”
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.
Richmond recorded 51 COVID-19 cases for the 14-day period ending Thursday, compared to almost 2,000 in the Fraser Health region, according to data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Since the start of the pandemic in March, Richmond has recorded 397 cases. About 6,800 of the more than 14,000 cases in B.C. are in Fraser Health.
The City of Delta passed a similar mask bylaw last month. Meanwhile, Vancouver councillors recently voted to “strongly recommend” masks in city buildings rather than make them mandatory.