WINNIPEG — Beginning Saturday, Winnipeg Transit bus riders and those who enter city-operated facilities will be required to wear a face mask.
The city says the measure is a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
“As we approach the fall season and children are returning back to school, higher volumes of people are expected on Winnipeg Transit and in City of Winnipeg facilities, and with those higher volumes of people, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain physical distancing,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.
The move also extends to passengers who use Winnipeg Transit Plus.
The city says residents who aren’t wearing a face mask will be informed to wear one, however, service won’t be denied to anyone who refuses. While the focus is on education rather than enforcement, the city says bus riders could face a $100 fine for non-compliance. The city may implement enforcement measures if wide-spread non-compliance becomes an issue.
The city expects to spend $325,000 on face mask distribution to members of the public, as well as all city employees who do not have their own. A limited number of face masks are also currently available for transit riders to pick up at transit kiosks and city libraries during regular operating hours. Masks are expected to be provided for two weeks or until the supply runs out.
The costs, which also include a public awareness campaign, will attempt to be offset by a request for reimbursement to the province as they relate to public health and safety concern.