City Council passes bylaw for mandatory face coverings in City transit vehicles

Masks are required in city transit in Red Deer starting Aug. 31, 2020, after city council gave third reading to a Mandatory Mask Bylaw at today’s regular council meeting.

The bylaw requires masks to be worn when riding city transit vehicles. The bylaw comes into effect on August 31, 2020, and at this time, extends until December 31, 2020. 

City council also considered mandatory masking in public spaces beyond City transit; however, this bylaw was not adopted at this time. City Council may consider it in the future, as a mechanism to be responsive should the situation change. This would be done with direction and guidance from Provincial Health Authorities. 

“The topic of masking is a divisive issue in our community. Today’s decision by city council acknowledges the need for continued diligence in protecting the health and well being of all Red Deerians while respecting the ever changing realities of COVID-19 and its impact on our community,” said Mayor Tara Veer. 

Under the bylaw, face coverings means a medical or non-medical mask or other face covering to create a barrier that limits the transmission of respiratory droplets. 

“Following city council’s decision, masks are mandatory when people are riding City transit; however, for the time being, masks are not mandatory in other public spaces,” said Karen Mann, Emergency Management Coordinator. “We still encourage citizens to use masks voluntarily when needed, and when two metres of physical distancing cannot be maintained in public spaces.”

The fine for non-compliance is $50; however, the city’s preference is to educate prior to issuing tickets and fines.