Manitoba

Manitoba Liquor Mart staff to wear masks at work starting Thursday

Manitoba Liquor Mart employees will soon be required to wear masks while on the job.

Workers will receive 2 reusable face masks or can bring their own from home, employer says

Starting Thursday, you'll see workers in masks when you enter a Manitoba Liquor Mart. (Angela Johnston/CBC)

Manitoba Liquor Mart employees will soon be required to wear masks while on the job.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will mandate mask use for liquor store staff starting Thursday, the provincial agency says.

"Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries is committed to doing what we can to protect the health of our employees and customers," a spokesperson for the provincial organization said in an email.

"We have and will continue to evolve, expand and implement these types of initiatives as new information about COVID-19 preventative best practices becomes available."

Each employee will get two reusable face masks, the spokesperson said. Employees can also use their own masks from home if they prefer.

Wearing masks in public spaces is not currently required in Manitoba. However, Liquor and Lotteries already requires employees in Winnipeg casinos to wear masks while at work.

The president of the Liquor Mart workers' union said most of the employees she's heard from support the decision.

"They recognize that … we all have a responsibility to ensure that there's safety for both themselves, their co-workers and for the customers that are coming through the door," said Michelle Gawronsky, president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union.

Customers at Manitoba liquor stores currently aren't required to wear masks while shopping, but Gawronsky hopes shoppers will put them on anyway, to help keep each other and workers safe.

"Although it's not a requirement, I'm certainly hoping that all Manitobans realize it is a good idea."

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