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I work in a retail liquor store. We require customers to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID19. Technically speaking is wearing masks a law, a health order or the store policy as a result of the health order?

A customer asked if we had a mask he could use. We said no. He then argued he had a medical exemption and isn't supposed to be refused service.

My questions are:

Can a customer be denied service or entry for not wearing a mask even if they claim they have a medical exception? Must they prove it with some sort of certificate? Some people have claimed that they do not need to show proof. If the customer is acting in a dishonest manner, for example if I see them wearing a mask before entering the store, does that make a difference? Does the quality of mask or the material it is made of make a difference? Some customers pull their shirt over their face and my coworkers tell them that is alright. I am considering putting in a complaint to the health inspector.

Also can customers remove their masks to use the face unlock feature of their smart phone? Some customers pay with their phones.

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https://bchumanrights.ca/mask-poster/

Technically speaking is wearing masks a law, a health order or the store policy as a result of the health order?

Technically speaking it's a Ministerial Order made under the power delegated to the Minister by the Emergency Program Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 111, s. 10.

Can a customer be denied service or entry for not wearing a mask even if they claim they have a medical exception?

No, they cannot. If they claim they have an exemption, then as far as you are concerned, they have an exemption. Refusing service would be illegal discrimination on the basis of disability.

Must they prove it with some sort of certificate?

No.

Some people have claimed that they do not need to show proof.

Those people are right.

If the customer is acting in a dishonest manner, for example if I see them wearing a mask before entering the store, does that make a difference?

No.

Does the quality of mask or the material it is made of make a difference?

Yes.

They must wear a face covering.

"face covering" means either of the following that covers the nose and mouth of a person:

(a) a medical or non-medical mask; (b) a tightly woven fabric;

Some customers pull their shirt over their face and my coworkers tell them that is alright.

Depends on the shirt: if it is made of "a tightly woven fabric" then it is alright.

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  • Re "if the customer is acting dishonest" according to the link people may be exempt for health reasons but not personal preference. If it is clear that they can wear a mask (for example, they ask for one), wouldn't this be enough to deny them service? Apr 30, 2021 at 7:57
  • PS are customers allowed to remove their mask so they can unlock their phone for facial recognition? This may be their payment method. Apr 30, 2021 at 7:58
  • I don't understand your confusion: if they have claimed they have an exemption then that's enough even if you think they are lying through their teeth
    – Dale M
    Apr 30, 2021 at 7:59
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    Yes: identification purposes is one of the enumerated exemptions. Look at the order - the poster is just a summary.
    – Dale M
    Apr 30, 2021 at 8:00

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