Phil Leboudec has been encouraging his customers to wear masks for months.
He estimates 80 to 90 per cent are already obliging, and he doesn’t see a problem with enforcing the municipal bylaw mandating face coverings that comes into effect this week.
If there is a problem, he says, “it is more likely to come from those wearing masks than those who aren’t.”
The bylaw leaves lots of room for those who are unable to wear a mask for any reason, he says. It also allows him or a staff member to turn away anyone who simply chooses not to don a face covering for the safety of others.
According to the regional health department, he says, although it hasn’t made masks mandatory — at least it hadn’t at the beginning of the week — it is recommending masks as another layer of protection if physical distancing is difficult.
“The bylaw is not enforceable, but it is the right way to go. It will help to create a culture of wearing masks.
He can already see that happening, with the number of customers wearing masks increasing as the weeks go by.
Those people have to remember there are many reasons why others aren’t wearing masks, “and it’s really none of our business. There’s no point in walking around being angry. You don’t know what their reason is. People need to worry about themselves, not everybody else.”
And if we do that, he says, “there shouldn’t be a problem.”