Nanaimo Mounties served two female BC Ferries passengers more than $900 in COVID fines this week for ignoring repeated requests to wear face masks.
The women, ages 19 and 43, were headed to Nanaimo from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. When they boarded the ferry, they were told to put on masks, which are required in public spaces under provincial health orders amid the pandemic, but reportedly refused.
Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien said throughout the sailing, the women were reportedly yelling and “generally being abusive to staff,” and refused several requests that they don masks.
“It should be noted that the two had reusable non-medical masks in their possession at all times but simply chose not to wear them,” O’Brien said.
Just after midnight on Sunday, Nanaimo RCMP were called to meet the Queen of Cowichan as it docked in Nanaimo and officers arrested the pair for mischief and causing a disturbance.
The officers noted that the two women appeared drunk and were confrontational with the officers. In fact, one of them screamed at an officer that she was going to kill him. The other said that she would sue both officers for false arrest and ensure they lost their pensions.
The officers arrested the women for being intoxicated in a public place. The two women were escorted to the Nanaimo detachment and lodged in cells for the remainder of the evening.
Several hours later, the women were handed tickets for failing to wear face coverings ($230) and abusive or belligerent behaviour ($230).
The arresting officers elected not to pursue the criminal charges, O’Brien said.
Meanwhile, a BC Ferries employee who works out of Swartz Bay has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating, as are direct contacts, the company says.
BC Ferries did not say where specifically the employee works within the organization or what routes the employee might have travelled.
Contact tracing through Island Health has been completed “and it has been determined that there were no contacts involving risk or re-transmission to the public,” the corporation said.
Employees who had direct contact with the person who tested positive have been contacted and are in self-isolation, BC Ferries said. “They have been asked to get tested, however, none are showing symptoms currently.”
Other employees have been instructed to monitor themselves for symptoms.