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TransLink to implement mandatory masks

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:21 PDT, Thu August 6, 2020

All TransLink riders will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering starting Aug. 24.

The new regulations come after significant discussion around the issue, including with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. TransLink says mask wearing is an essential step to ensuring customers have confidence riding transit as BC’s economy reopens and more people are commuting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Physical distancing is not always going to be possible on transit, particularly once more riders return to the system,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Customer confidence is key to rebuilding ridership in the context of this pandemic and we believe this step is important to bring many of our riders back.”

Customers who are unable to wear face coverings due to medical conditions or disabilities will be exempt from this policy. They will have the option to request a TransLink branded card, available at Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront Compass Customer Service Centres, that notes their exemption.

Exemptions for TransLink’s mandatory face covering policy include:

• Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering

Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance

• Children under 5 years of age

• Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access

• Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency

Transit Police will be able to enforce the new mask rule, but initially the focus will be on awareness and education. Frontline employees may inform or remind customers to wear a face covering when on-board transit vehicles.

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