Most large retailers not yet mandating masks in Kamloops

Although Walmart shoppers will be required to wear a mask beginning next week, other retailers do not appear to be following suit.

In the wake of this week’s announcement by Walmart mandating the use of face coverings at all of its Canadian stores, including in Kamloops, KTW reached out to others to find out if they are planning to do the same.

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At Save-On-Foods, masks have been made available to staff, however they have not been mandated for them nor customers at this time.

“We continue to rely on the expertise of credible health authorities, including the World Health Organization, Centre for Disease Control and local, provincial and federal governments to guide us through the pandemic,” an email statement from the company reads.

Home Depot Canada director of corporate communications Paul Berto also said the company is following public health guidelines. He said staff are only required to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible.

One example would be in performing a two-person lift. Berto added, however, the company is abiding by mask rules in communities where it has been mandated through local laws.

TJX, the company behind Winners and Marshalls, has required staff to wear a mask when at work. However, customers in its Canadian stores have thus far only been encouraged to wear a face covering.

Some cities have mandated masks in public places. KTW previously spoke to city councillors, who said they continued to follow advice from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has so far not made mandatory masks in public spaces.

Meanwhile, BC Transit also announced this week masks will be required beginning later this month on buses across the province. Some parents have also called for masks to be mandated when kids return to classrooms for in-person learning this fall.

Policy around masks has changed during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Canada’s top doctor first said face coverings were not advised, then later recommended their use to contain one’s droplets — which spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease — and prevent them from reaching other people.

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