Owners of a Keremeos gift shop have posted a sign stating masks are prohibited in their store, despite federal and provincial health recommendations urging the opposite.
A shopper who visited The One Eyed Budgie Gift Shop on Friday took a photo of the sign and submitted it to Castanet.
"These are stressful times indeed. I have been trying my best to follow all guidelines and be kind, calm and safe. That sign signifies the exact opposite of that," says the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
Castanet spoke with co-owner Dave Shearer who says since posting the sign a month ago, 95 per cent of his customers have been on board with his message.
"There's emerging evidence rapidly of the detriments to wearing a mask," he says. "This isn't Dave's opinion. This is research."
The sign reads: "Our research, which is supported by 1000's of studies & journal documents, proves that current restrictions are totally based upon falsehood. Therefore, mask wearing is prohibited in this establishment unless you wish to enter and discuss the FACTS that belie the conditions that are before us now."
For months, health officials across the globe have been urging people to don a mask as a layer of protection to help keep a person's droplets contained and reduce the transmission of the virus.
"COVID-19 is spread through infected droplets from a sick person’s mouth or nose," says the BC CDC's website.
"Wearing a mask when you are sick, helps protect people around you from the droplets that carry the virus," the BC CDC continues, adding "some people can spread the virus when they have very mild symptoms or may not know that they are infected."
While Shearer's sign prohibits masks in the store, he says customers wearing masks can still enter.
"It's more of a statement. We will not stop anybody from coming in if they want to wear a mask, as long as they realize they're doing so to their own detriment," he says, without providing evidence of what that detriment is.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has recommended that people wear masks in all indoor facilities, whether or not the business has mandated them, while masks have been made mandatory in other jurisdictions.