VICTORIA -- Mounties in Campbell River are asking everyone to be understanding as the provincial government rolls out its mandatory mask policy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Campbell River RCMP, the detachment has received several calls from local businesses and customers about people refusing to wear masks in public spaces.

As of Friday morning, no fines or arrests had been handed out yet. However, Mounties warn that enforcement could be carried out if necessary.

"Fines and arrests are absolutely the last action we want to be taking, but if people continue to push boundaries it's going to happen," said Const. Maury Tyre of the Campbell River RCMP in a release.

"I recognize there are dissenting opinions and multiple other concepts that can be found online regarding the present mask policies, but right now these are the rules and laws that are being applied equally across the province," he said. "Being belligerent with a store employee who is just working to feed their family is not going to change the laws and is more than likely going to get you fined or arrested."

Mounties say that if people do not want to wear a mask, they can arrange for online shopping, delivery, or curbside pick-up from businesses.

Police add that everyone should be respectful of people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, even if that reason may not be a visible condition.

Campbell River RCMP say that people who cannot wear a mask could consider getting a doctor’s note that says they have an exception, which does not have to detail what their condition is.

Mounties also encourage people to let staff know if they have a medical reason why they can’t wear a mask when they arrive at a store.

"Your particular diagnosis is your business, but the location you are entering is their business," said the RCMP detachment Friday.

"In the end, people are doing their best in trying to deal with an ongoing pandemic that many people are frustrated by. Keep that in mind and try to treat everyone with as much respect as you would want shown to you and your family," said Campbell River RCMP.