A cleaner demonstrates how they disinfect the train cars of the Sky Train in Vancouver, Thursday, May 21, 2020. Translink is working to try and provide a safe riding environment for their passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

COVID-19: Masks now mandatory on public transit, ferries in B.C.

BC Ferries, TransLink and BC Transit require masks to board

If you’re looking to take a bus or a ferry in B.C. these days, don’t forget your mask. Both of the province’s major transit companies, TransLink and BC Transit, as well as BC Ferries will be requiring all passengers to wear masks on board starting Monday (Aug. 24).

Both transit agencies originally announced the decision near the beginning of August. Passengers are expected to provide their own masks.

Both TransLink and BC Transit have made a series of exemptions. Children under the age of five, employees working behind a barrier or in areas the public cannot access, people with underlying medical conditions or disabilities that prevent mask wearing, those who cannot remove a mask without assistance. Police, first responders and employees will be exempt from having to wear a mask when responding to an emergency.

For TransLink services, passengers unable to wear a mask for health reasons will require a card from the agency which notes they are exempt from wearing a face covering. The cards will be made available at Compass customer service centres at Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront Stations.

Although both transit agencies have said the focus is on educating the public, not imposing penalties, TransLink did note that Transit Police can enforce the mask mandate if it becomes an issue.

BC Ferries announced its mask mandate Friday. Prior to that announcement, the ferry corporation had only required customers to have masks with them.

Starting Monday, all passengers, whether they came on a car or on foot, must wear masks at all times in the terminals and onboard vessels, unless they’re inside their vehicles or “consuming food or drinks while maintaining physical distance.” Infants and toddlers under two years old and customers with medical conditions or disabilities that inhibits their ability to wear a mask are exempt from the new rules.

READ MORE: Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

READ MORE: Wearing masks will be mandatory on BC Ferries vessels and at terminals


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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