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Couple fined $460 for fake coughing inside Vancouver gym

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A couple was fined a total of $460 for pretending to cough on people at a Vancouver gym, police say

The couple told police they were fake coughing because people were staring at them in the gym

Neither the man nor woman are members of the gym and the owner flagged down police after they entered without masks

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Pretending to cough on people trying to work out at a gym near False Creek landed a couple $460 in fines, police say.

According to the Vancouver Police Department, the 60-year-old-man and his 25-year-old girlfriend weren’t members of the gym, but they entered anyway without masks on Saturday.

The owner of the gym caught the attention of two police officers after the couple were “coughing in the general direction of people and equipment.”

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Police found the couple as they were leaving a gym washroom.

“The people did not appear to have COVID or at least they didn’t have any symptoms of having COVID, and they explained to the police officer that they were pretending to cough because people in the gym were looking at them strangely,” Sgt. Steve Addison tells NEWS 1130.

The couple was told to leave after they were each given a $230 fine under the Emergency Program Act for failing to wear a face covering. Masks have been mandatory in most indoor public places under the provincial health order.

“It’s frustrating for the police officers who are working in the city of Vancouver to continuously have to deal with this,” Addison says. “Obviously, it’s discourteous and it puts other people’s health and safety in danger.”

He adds police have had interactions with the couple in the past.

-with files from Sonia Aslam