COVID-19 in Vancouver: Coughing couple without masks at gym slapped with fines

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      A couple that purposely coughed as they wandered around a Vancouver gym without face masks are now facing fines under the Emergency Program Act, which remains in effect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The Vancouver Police Department stated today (January 19) that the owner of a private gym near False Creek flagged down two officers on the evening of January 16.

      The owner said that two people who weren’t gym members had entered the premises, were walking around without facemasks, and were coughing in the general direction of people and equipment.

      Police located a 60-year-old man and his 25-year-old girlfriend as they left a washroom in the gym.

      The couple told police that they were only pretending to cough because people at the gym were staring at them.

      Officers asked the couple to leave and issued them $230 tickets each for not wearing face coverings, which violates public health orders. 

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made masks mandatory in all indoor public and retail spaces on November 19.  

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.