VICTORIA -- BC Transit will be handing out free face coverings to Victoria bus riders next week in an effort to encourage the use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The transit operator says staff will be giving out the masks during the morning commute on Monday.

The provincial government has not mandated the use of face masks as other jurisdictions have, though provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has encouraged their use when physical distancing is difficult.

The branded BC Transit face masks will be handed out free of charge at the following times and locations:

  • Downtown core – Douglas/Fort area 7:30 a.m.- 9 a.m.
  • Legislature exchange and surrounding area 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
  • Uptown Shopping Centre area 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
  • Mayfair Mall area 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
  • Langford Exchange 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
  • Colwood Exchange 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.