MELFORT — According to the Melfort Trade Alliance Chamber of Commerce, multiple businesses through the city have stepped forward about anti-mask incidents in their stores.
Some of these incidents involved verbal abuse and the patron refusing to leave the store the first time they’re asked.
Cam Lee, the chamber’s executive director, called the incidents “disappointing.”
“I just want it out there that local businesses are doing the best that they can in these times that aren’t exactly a lot of fun for them either,” Lee said.
“If people could just respect that and kind of play by the rules we can all get along and hopefully get over this COVID-19 pandemic as fast as we can.”
He said the chamber doesn’t know at the present time whether these are organized or isolated incidents.
Under provincial pandemic regulations, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces in Saskatchewan, including businesses.
Masks are also recommended for outdoor areas if two-metre physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable.
Lee said that if somebody has a problem with the mandates, “it’s a whole different discussion for a different day.”
“Whatever you may think of the province’s mandate, don’t take it out on people who have nothing to do with it. They’re just trying to get on with their lives and help you as a customer,” he said.
“This mask mandate was put forward by the Government of Saskatchewan to help keep both the businesses, the employees in the business, and the patrons all safe. So they’re only doing what they’re asked to do from the province, and through that I don’t think they deserve any abuse or ill-will toward them.”
Health officials strongly recommend wearing a non-medical mask in the community, even if somebody has no symptoms as the virus can be transmitted by infectious individuals in the two days before symptoms develop.