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New Westminster pet shop's mask rule creating conflict with customers, says owner

Karima Jivraj, who owns the Bosley's in Columbia Square, says the mask requirement in her store is for the safety of both customers and staff. (Courtesy Twitter/Bosley's)
Summary

Bosley's owner says police were called twice last week due to conflicts with customers over her shop's mask rule

New Westminster shop owner says mask requirement in her store is for the safety of both customers and staff

Use of masks in indoor public places now 'recommended' in B.C. for all people 12+ who aren't fully vaccinated

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – A pet store owner in New Westminster is once again pleading with the public to continue wearing masks in her store, saying enforcement of her shop’s rule has led to police being called twice last week.

Karima Jivraj, who owns the Bosley’s in Columbia Square, says the mask requirement in her store is for the safety of both customers and staff.

“A lot of my team haven’t received their second vaccines and are still waiting for their turn. Not to mention that a lot of them have siblings below the age of 12 that are not eligible for vaccines. I am simply trying to keep you, as my customer, my team, and our families safe,” she says in a video posted online.

“I get it that Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that masks are recommended, but as a business owner, I am simply trying to be respectful and responsible towards my team.”

Jivraj says some of the confrontations have escalated to the point her staff have felt concerned for their safety.

“Last week, we had to call the police twice due to the unacceptable behaviour of a couple of customers,” a tweet reads. “In the first case, my team was concerned for my safety and in the second case the person refused a mask and then proceeded to steal a bag of food from the store as she … didn’t want to wear a mask and we refused service.”


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Tweets outline other confrontations with customers, one adding a man who refused to wear a mask had resorted to calling Jivraj and her team members names.

“This is not acceptable behaviour. Several businesses are still asking customers to wear masks and I am no different,” another tweet in the thread reads.

“I will not allow anyone to abuse my team, get hostile with them or verbally abuse them.”

B.C.’s mandatory mask order was lifted as part of the third step of its restart plan. The use of masks in indoor public places is now “recommended” for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

While masks are no longer mandated, businesses are able to decide for themselves if they would like for customers and staff to continue wearing face coverings.

Jivraj is recommending people who don’t want to follow her mask rule to shop online instead.