WINNIPEG — Talks around wearing masks in the province continue to build momentum, especially since Manitoba has seen a spike in cases of COVID-19 in the past few weeks.
The province has yet to make it mandatory for Manitobans to wear them while out in public, but that has not stopped some businesses from implementing their own guidelines for customers.
For those looking to go clothes shopping, Old Navy has made it mandatory to wear a face-covering when entering its stores throughout Manitoba.
American Eagle is in the same boat. When people enter the store, they are asked to put a mask on and if they don’t have one, the stores have been supplying disposable ones.
Fabricland locations in Winnipeg have also gone down the path of a mandatory mask policy. The stores don’t require a specific mask but a face covering is required to shop there.
Some workout facilities, such as Orangetheory Fitness, require masks.
Megan Gabert owns the Orangetheory locations in Sage Creek and Bridgwater and said this is something the company is doing throughout the country.
“We wanted to maintain consistency across the country since we are a worldwide franchise. So there are municipalities throughout Canada that are now requiring this, like Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto,” said Gabert.
She noted that it is optional for franchisee owners but she went ahead with the mandate.
“We felt that anything we could do to just make people feel more comfortable coming into the facility was obviously better for us.”
Gabert said masks are only required when entering the gyms and in areas where people take off their shoes, but once the workout starts, they can take them off and there are hooks to hang them on.
The new rule was implemented on Aug. 10 and so far, Gabert said people have been fine with it.
“There has been no pushback. First of all, a lot of people are expecting this to become mandatory shortly anyways, come the fall.
“A lot of them wear them anyways when they go out and about…I think had we required them to wear it while they’re working out, given that we are a high cardio environment, that might have been a little bit of a pushback.”
Planet Fitness is another location that has required masks. The workout facility has had the rule in place since Aug. 1.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery announced on Tuesday that it is now mandatory for visitors and staff to wear masks.
“We ask that all guests wear a mask, scarf, or bandana that covers the nose and mouth while in public spaces at the Gallery,” the gallery said on its website.
If guests don’t have masks, they can purchase them for $1.
Starting on Aug. 12 Walmart will join the list of businesses requiring a mask. This decision will take effect nationwide.
The Mountain Equipment Co-op on Portage Avenue said on its website everyone entering the store or picking up online orders must wear some sort of face covering.
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