Danforth bridal shop upheld mask mandate through pandemic with few complaints, staff say

"Without a mask requirement, we would be very vulnerable," the shop's manager said.

Customers wear masks in Becker's Bridal
Becker's Bridal asks customers to wear masks for entry to prevent the spread of viruses. This photo was taken in November 2022. (Yuan Che/Toronto Observer) 

Staff at a local bridal shop say they’ve never dropped their in-store mask mandate for customers, and their clients have been cooperative.

The manager of Becker’s Bridal on Danforth Avenue spoke to the Toronto Observer following the recent announcement by Ontario’s top doctor, where he asked people to strongly consider wearing masks indoors.

For the bridal shop’s staff and clients, it’s business as usual.

“For the health and safety of our staff and customers, we require masks to be worn,” said Liyat Benchetrit, the manager of Becker’s Bridal.

“The appointments are an hour or longer, and we have sustained close contact with our brides, helping them in and out of their gowns,” she said. “Without a mask requirement, we would be very vulnerable.”

The reason Becker’s Bridal still requires customers to wear masks, in spite of the fact the regulations were relaxed in the spring, is that “we are a small business with limited staff. If one of us is sick, it is a significant burden on our business,” Benchetrit said.

“The vast majority of our clients were very understanding, supportive and appreciative,” she said.

Hospitalizations on the rise

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, “strongly” recommended “the wearing of masks in all indoor settings in light of rising hospitalization of children due to COVID-19, influenza and RSV.”

Moore said, “a masking mandate remains on the table,” but only said it would come into play when the health-care system sees increased pressure.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, also suggested residents take protective measures, as Toronto’s flu season is expected to peak around the holidays.

“So whether you’re gathering with family, or having dinner with colleagues are entering a large crowd of Merrymakers or holiday goers, remember that the layers of protection help reduce your risk of infection: vaccination, hand washing, wearing a well fitted high-quality mask,” she said, according to CP24.

One Toronto resident took doctors’ recommendations on wearing masks, and said he thinks it’s helpful to reduce the spread of viruses.

“I would wear a mask on public transport and in spaces with a large number of people, because there is poor air circulation,” said John, who did not want his last name to be disclosed. He wore a cloth mask while waiting for the streetcar on Dundas Street. “It’s not just about Covid; it could be about other airborne illnesses such as the flu season.”

John said he thought bringing back a mask mandate in the city could be tricky.

“Restoring a mask mandate may be difficult depending on how hospital capacities go, it may be required,” he said. “I would refer to the data coming out of our hospital system to confirm whether or not its reintroduction should be mandatory.”

According to a story in the Toronto Sun, Burlington, Ont. was the first large Ontario city to reinstate mandatory masks in late November for city employees while at work.

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Posted: Dec 9 2022 9:00 am
Filed under: Business COVID-19 Science & Health