Edmonton city council votes to make masks mandatory in all public indoor spaces

Edmonton city council votes to make masks mandatory in all public indoor spaces

EDMONTON — City council in Edmonton has voted to require the use of masks in all public indoor spaces starting Saturday.

It’s an extension of a decision last week by an emergency advisory committee for mandatory face coverings on public transit and at city facilities to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The temporary bylaw, which was passed 10-3, will apply to private businesses, retail stores, entertainment venues, recreation centres, restaurants when not eating, transit stations and all public transportation.

People not wearing masks indoors could face fines of $100, but businesses will not be required to enforce the bylaw.

More and more cities across the country are bringing in temporary rules requiring people to wear masks in the hope of minimizing the reach of the novel coronavirus as people undertake more activities.

Alberta’s updated figures show 133 new cases and three more deaths.

There have been 10,603 people infected in the province since the pandemic took hold and 190 have died.

Cases have increased by more than 100 almost daily for the last two weeks. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, has said the province’s curve is no longer flat.

“This bylaw works to strike a balance between encouraging the use of face coverings for everyone’s protection, and understanding that not everyone can wear a face covering,” Mayor Don Iveson said in a release.

“We know that wearing a face covering is an important factor in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and we want it to become second nature to Edmontonians.”

Exceptions will be made for children under two, people who cannot use a mask without assistance, anyone unable to wear a face covering because of mental or physical concerns or for those providing care to a disabled person when wearing a mask would affect that care.

Acceptable face coverings will include medical or non-medical masks or other coverings that fully cover the nose, mouth and chin.

The bylaw will not apply to schools, hospitals and health-care facilities, child-care centres or two employees who have a physical barrier between themselves and the public.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2020

The Canadian Press

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