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Cariboo residents who take the bus will notice some changes due to COVID

BC Transit has had to make some changes to be in compliance with the provincial government’s new order on face coverings.

Communications Manager Jonathon Dyck says they previously asked customers to wear a face mask, but it was strictly an education piece…

“On August 24th we implemented our mandatory face covering policy on board our buses and the expectation from that point forward was anybody getting on board a BC Transit bus would be wearing a face covering.   We implemented that policy as an education piece without enforcement.   Now with the order from the province of BC we are following that order, we’re updating that policy to align with their order”

That change now includes an option for enforcement…

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“Transit operators are responsible for the safe operation of their vehicle, and as with any issue that they might face on the bus, the operator has the ability to report those being vocal to the non-compliance of the mask mandate to their transit supervisor or manager.    Under the new order BC Transit supervisors and managers will now have the authority to enforce compliance with the assistance of local authorities (RCMP) if necessary, and so this does give us that opportunity to take it to that step if it’s deemed necessary.”

Dyck says customers are being asked to wear a face covering while waiting for the bus at covered bus stops as well.

There are still some exemptions…

“The new exemption criteria are aligned with the order from the province of BC, and those include those with health conditions or physical cognitive or mental impairment who cannot wear one, people who cannot remove a mask on their own, and children under the age of 12.”

Dyck says transit operators working alone behind a full driver door or vinyl panel are also exempt from wearing a mask.

He says face shields will no longer be considered acceptable as a face covering as it has an opening below the mouth.

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