Saskatoon businesses seeing cooperation from many customers when it comes to new COVID-19 mask rules
SASKATOON -- As the province heads into a blanket mandatory mask public health order, a Saskatoon retailer says most customers are abiding by the public health orders.
“Most people are so supportive, they are on board,” said Jordana Jacobson, owner of Cravings Saskatoon. “We have lots of people using them before and now I would say 99 per cent of the people are coming in with masks.”
Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert were the first centres where the province required masks at all indoor public spaces. Beginning Thursday, the public health order goes provincewide.
If they don’t have a mask, Jacobson said her staff can accommodate other ways to shop. She said her maternity store offers curbside pickup and they can also help someone shop over the phone from their vehicle in the parking lot.
“We’ll run orders out to cars, we’ll deliver within the city so we are offering other ways, so if you can’t wear a mask we have other ways you can shop with us,” she said.
Jacobson added that sometimes it’s difficult to enforce the mask mandate, but applauds her staff for doing what they can to ensure everyone in the store follows the rules.
“It does put them in a difficult situation. Most people have been great so we haven’t had many difficult situations,” she said.
Daniel Ford Beavis with O’Shea’s Irish Pub downtown said his bar has signs posted reminding people to wear a mask inside. He said usually people comply with the public health order when reminded.
In Manitoba where only essential services remain open following a second lockdown, provincial officials are issuing fines up to $298 for anyone not wearing a mask while inside public spaces.
The City of Saskatoon’s director of emergency management operations Pamela Goulden-McLeod said those types of fines are not being considered by the city. Staff are focused on education rather than calling police.
“That’s actually not part of our protocol yet,” she said. “What we’re doing is monitoring if this becomes an issue and if we see someone repeatedly come in, we could have a supervisor or someone come talk to them but we don’t have in our plans, calling police, because we believe people want to be compliant and that’s the focus we’re taking on it.”
A spokesperson with the Saskatoon Police Service said it has relied on education as opposed to enforcement and fortunately officers report compliance following discussions with members of the public in violation.
“We anticipate this to continue as further restrictions are put in place,” Julie Clark said.