LETHBRIDGE -- City council is weighing a proposed temporary mandatory face coverings bylaw that would make masks mandatory in indoor public places.

The bylaw passed its first and second readings Monday.

"Bylaw lets the community know we are serious," said Mayor Chris Spearman.. "Masks will be mandatory in malls, churches, taxis and businesses."

The purpose of the bylaw is to encourage people to wear masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.  Last week the city implemented face coverings for city-operated buildings like the Lethbridge Public Library and city hall.

"Sometimes we resist doing something until it is mandatory," said Coun. Belinda Crowson.

"It’s a critical measure in protecting people. The city doesn't want people to be vigilantes."

The temporary mandatory face coverings bylaw would be in effect until Dec. 31 unless there is a resolution to extend it.

City councillors also mentioned they don’t want the bylaw to turn into a tattle-tale phenomenon where people forward pictures of others who aren’t following the bylaw.

The third reading will take place on Aug. 24. If approved, those caught breaking the bylaw would be subject to a $100 fine.