Mandatory masks coming soon to Calgary, but you likely won't be denied service if you don't wear one
CALGARY -- If you’re not already wearing a face mask while out in public, you’re going to need to soon: Calgary's mandatory mask bylaw goes into effect August 1st for most public places and transit.
There are fines for not following the rules — $100 for people who don’t wear a mask where required and $200 for businesses failing to display proper signage — but the city says no one should be denied service because there are exceptions.
“There’s a number of reasons why a customers may not be wearing a mask. It could be health reasons, for one. So we’re going to go back to educating customers to make sure they’re aware of the mandate,” says Rob Hauta, the Associate Vice President of Operations for Mark’s.
“If for some reason they’re not able to wear a mask, we’re not going to turn them away.”
Children under two are exempt, and so are people with underlying health conditions that inhibit them from wearing a mask. You also won’t have to wear one while eating and drinking at a restaurant or bar or if you’re working out or playing a sport indoors.
“This is not about enforcement, it is about educating people first,” says Tom Sampson, the chief of Calgary’s Emergency Management Agency.
“We’re trying to get the public to comply during what could be a worsening situation that may be coming if we can’t respond within the next six to eight weeks.”
The City of Calgary will also be handing out masks at its buildings, and transit employees will have free masks to hand out to people who don’t have them.
The province gave the city thousands of masks and millions are being distributed for free at A&W, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons.
The mandatory mask bylaw also doesn’t apply to people in daycares and school, though some councillors are pushing for those to be included. The bylaw may face more changes when council meets again on Monday.