Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Home Covid-19 Saskatchewan businesses mandate respect among customers as COVID-19 restrictions change

Saskatchewan businesses mandate respect among customers as COVID-19 restrictions change

While businesses in Saskatchewan no longer require mandatory indoor masking, many customers are still making the personal choice to wear one.

Even without the controversial mandate, the face coverings are still a point of contention for some.

“We are not enforcing any mask policy but we are encouraging customers and employees to continue to wear them if it makes them feel comfortable. We think everyone has that right and we want to support the people who feel it’s necessary,” said Julie Nickerson, the general manager for The Fat Badger.

The Fat Badger in Regina doesn’t have a policy for mandatory mask use but they recently posted a sign on their storefront which says:

“The Fat Badger welcomes and supports the continued use of masking in our establishment. Harassment of any sort towards other patrons, masked or unmasked, will not be tolerated.”

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“We want you to be comfortable and we support you and we are going to support you if someone gives you a hard time,” said Nickerson.

Read more:

COVID-19: Saskatchewan people, businesses prepare for life beyond the mask mandate

In the absence of mandatory masks, many businesses like The Fat Badger are happy to let you make that choice for yourself — but they are mandating respect during the transition.

“Because we don’t want to see customers belittling other customers or just being like, ‘You don’t need that. That’s stupid.’ No it’s not stupid to them and we are going to support them,” said Nickerson.

Some Saskatchewan businesses not ready to ditch masks as COVID-19 measures lifted

Some Saskatchewan businesses not ready to ditch masks as COVID-19 measures lifted

At the Fat Badger, Nickerson says they have already seen too many examples of harassment based just on the decision to wear or not wear a mask.

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“I’ve had people rip masks off my face when the vax passport ended just cause they don’t think that they need to so I know if I’m receiving that just by working I know other people are going to have criticisms as well and it’s just not fair,” recalled Nickerson.

Read more:

Saskatoon Transit extends COVID-19 mask requirement after city council approval

“One of the things that I was very, very clear on, especially with staff, was that at no point did I want them to get into any kind of disagreement with anyone,” said Jeff Toth, the executive director for the Queen City Gymnastics Club.

Business owners want to remind customers that everyone has a reason for their mask choice. At the Queen City Gymnastics Club they have chosen to have spectators and non-athletes wear masks for the first 13 days of March. The club says they are putting the athletes’ safety first.

“Because we’re competitive. We are right in the middle of competitive season. If a group of kids falls ill, they’re done. They’re out. If a coach falls out because they’re ill then their entire group of kids is effected,” said Toth.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan students and teachers react to COVID-19 restrictions lifting'

Saskatchewan students and teachers react to COVID-19 restrictions lifting

Saskatchewan students and teachers react to COVID-19 restrictions lifting – Feb 28, 2022

“We just want people to remember, yes, we are getting back to regular day in and day out but you still need to think of other people during this. It’s not over for everybody,” said Nickerson.

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For businesses and more, navigating this transition is proving to be a true balancing act between safety, comfort and kindness.

“It’s a very difficult decision is what it ends up being, because you’re trying to balance everybody’s feelings without taking such a hard stance that alienates you from one sector of the population or another,” said Toth.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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