On Aug. 25 a province-wide indoor mask mandate was re-instituted by the B.C. government, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, followed by the implementation of the vaccine passport mandate for various businesses and services on Sept. 13. Since then, compliance with the public health officer’s (PHO) orders around the community has been somewhat present, but not completely.
In terms of the vaccine passport, other than restaurants and exercise facilities, many of the businesses in Burns Lake don’t fall in the category of requiring it.
Mask-wearing on the other hand is mandatory for most businesses in Burns Lake, and signs can be seen outside of some of them, however there are at least 13 local businesses that don’t have signs up telling people to comply with the mandate. As a result, a fair amount of people around Burns Lake are not wearing masks indoors.
Lakes District News spoke to Sheryl Worthing, Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Burns Lake, about how the village handles businesses that don’t comply with PHO orders. “We receive many complaints from community members and follow up with each of them. To date we have followed up with nine businesses. It is our responsibility to ensure that local businesses are complying,” said Worthing.
According to the B.C. government website, masks are mandatory in malls, shopping centres, coffee shops, retail and grocery stores, liquor and drug stores, restaurants and bars, drug stores, libraries, community centres, common areas of sport and fitness centres, inside schools, as well as common areas of post secondary institutions and non-profits.
The provincial website states that the Province is working with local governments to target individuals and businesses who fail to comply with PHO orders. This may include revoking business or liquor licenses where issues occur.
“We’d get the Province and WorkSafe involved before we got to the point of revoking the business licence, but it is an option that the Village has,” said Worthing.
Come Oct. 24, proof of vaccination for both doses will be required to access certain businesses and services such as licensed restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and lounges, Nightclubs, casinos, movie theatres and gyms. The mandate will be in place until at least Jan. 31, 2022 and possibly beyond that date.
Have a story tip? Email: