VANCOUVER -- Two people were each handed tickets Saturday night after pretending to cough on customers inside a private Vancouver gym.

Local police say the gym's owner flagged down officers after two people, who weren't members at the False Creek-area facility, entered the business without masks. The pair then began coughing at people and equipment, the owner told police. 

Officers tracked down a 60-year-old man and his 25-year-old girlfriend as they were exiting a washroom inside the facility. 

"The couple claimed they were only pretending to cough because people inside the gym were staring at them," Vancouver police said in a post online.

Even so, police ticketed them $230 for not wearing a mask in an indoor public space. They were also asked to leave the gym. 

"Their behaviour was very clearly obnoxious and disrespectful to the people that were in the gym," Sgt. Steve Addison told reporters on Tuesday. "They appeared to be trying to get a rise out of people who were using that gym."

Current public health orders require people over the age of 11 to wear a mask in most indoor public settings and all retail stores. There are exemptions for people with some health conditions.