Masks to be mandatory in NB Liquor locations starting Thursday
Move comes after Service NB made masks mandatory last week
Another Crown corporation is mandating masks be worn on its premises because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting Thursday, NB Liquor will require all patrons to wear face masks when shopping at their corporate stores.
This comes a few weeks after Service NB said masks would be mandatory at all locations starting on Oct. 1.
As with Service NB, NB Liquor's move appears to be targeted at reducing lineups outside locations, especially with cold weather looming.
"By making masks mandatory while in our stores we can continue to keep our team members and customers safe, while increasing the capacity in the store," NB Liquor said in a statement posted to its website.
NB Liquor said the mask order does not extend to agency stores as they are "privately owned and therefore ANBL has no authority over store policies at private locations outside the sale of alcohol products."
NB Liquor's corporate cousin, Cannabis NB, is not requiring mandatory masks in its stores.
The corporation has "been and will continue to monitor the situation as it pertains to mandatory masks," spokesperson Sarah Bustard said in an emailed statement. "When more information is available we will communicate that with our customers."
Mandatory masks, maybe?
The new mandatory mask order for NB Liquor comes less than a week after Premier Blaine Higgs was unclear about whether or when a blanket mask policy would be on the way for the province.
Higgs said a mandatory mask policy may, or may not be, coming as soon as this week, Oct. 8, which is Thursday.
"Although I prefer not to make mask use mandatory in public spaces, I know that it may soon be necessary," Higgs said on Oct. 2.
"There is a possibility we will implement this next week. It could be a week or two out. … I guess the only clarity here I'll add, it could be as early as Oct. 8, or it could be delayed a few weeks, but I would suggest that mandatory masks are coming soon into our province."
CBC News has asked the province if a mandatory mask policy is imminent and is awaiting response.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic bubble, mandatory masks are already required in many public places.
Nova Scotia brought in mandatory masks for people in indoor public spaces back in July.
Several major retailers in Atlantic Canada, including Superstore and Walmart, have already made wearing a mask a requirement for entry.
The City of Moncton has moved to make masks mandatory in all city-owned buildings.
The province also mandates masks be worn in public places where physical distancing is not possible.