Face coverings are temporarily mandatory in Red Deer after City Council approved a bylaw today, mandating face coverings for indoor public places and public vehicles.
The bylaw will officially come into effect on November 30, 2020; however, The City strongly encourages citizens to wear a face covering in accordance with the bylaw starting today.
The decision to proceed with a short-term face covering bylaw came after in-depth discussions on the topic over the past few weeks and during last week’s Special City Council Meeting. During this meeting, a number of amendments were considered by City Council, triggering the need for the third reading at today’s regular City Council meeting.
“Mandating temporary face coverings in Red Deer is a short-term measure to be responsive to the evolving pandemic in Red Deer and across the province. We know this is a divisive issue in our community, and although the Province has yet to mandate masks across Alberta, City Council believes this temporary measure is critical if we want local case numbers and hospitalization to remain flat,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Through this bylaw, we are putting into action, the recommendations of health officials because the safety, health and wellbeing of all citizens continues to be our number one priority.”
At this time, the bylaw has a sunset clause of March 1, 2021, and will expire on this date.
The bylaw mandates all citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places and public vehicles with the exceptions noted in the bylaw. This includes any place, whether publicly or privately owned, where members of the public have access as of right or by implied invitation.
The bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities. It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage.
The fine for not wearing a face covering in a public place is $50.
“This decision is about protecting public health and safety, protecting our health care system, and doing whatever we can to help stabilize the local economy and prevent potential future lockdowns that could result in further business impacts and closures,” said Mayor Veer. “We are all feeling the pressures of COVID-19; citizens, businesses and Albertans alike are significantly affected. The City will continue to do everything we can to support our local citizens and businesses by putting measures in place that could minimize the spread of COVID-19.”
A mandatory face covering bylaw is just one of the municipal measures being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Red Deer. The City also continues to adapt its many operations to be responsive to the changing circumstances, increase communication with citizens and businesses and to continue to seek information and support through the Province of Alberta.
Red Deer is now one of approximately nineteen other Alberta municipalities, including Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge, to have a mandatory face covering bylaw in place.
For more information about the new bylaw and other COVID-19 restrictions, please read our Face Coverings in Public Places (Mandatory Mask) Bylaw FAQ (pdf) or visit www.reddeer.ca.
For more information, contact:
Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer