As of November 2, 2020, the City of Camrose has instituted a Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw (Bylaw #3129-20), effective immediately. This bylaw requires the use of face coverings for all individuals over the age of 10 in all public spaces and civic facilities in the City of Camrose. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition are exempt from this Bylaw.

Council enacted this Bylaw due to rising COVID-19 numbers in the community and to follow the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health in the Province of Alberta. However, Council also stressed the importance of all members of our community to wear a mask or other face coverings in combination with other preventative health measures such as regular hand washing, physical distancing, and reducing large gatherings.

The Bylaw also allows for the removal of mask during physical activities or while consuming food and/or drink. Additionally, exceptions apply to:

  • Persons providing or receiving care or assistance for a mental or physical condition, disability or limitation and a Face Covering would have hindered providing or receiving that caregiving or assistance;
  • Persons providing or receiving a service that requires personal consultation if that activity occurs in a closed office or meeting room and all participants in the personal consultation have at all times maintained physical separation of at least 2 metres from each other or there is a physical barrier to provide protection;
  • A participant in a dance, theatrical or musical or public performance, if all participants in the performance maintained at least 2 metres of physical distance from each other and did not enter the area where the public was viewing the performance; and
  • A Taxi Cab Operator, if barriers were in place to create physical screening between the operator and the passengers in the Taxi Cab.

Under no circumstances should a member of the public harass or intimidate a person who is not wearing a face covering.

While the intention of this Bylaw is not punitive, those who contravene this Bylaw could be subject to a maximum $100 fine or, for a summary conviction at the discretion of the courts, a fine not exceeding $10,000 or a period of imprisonment of not more than one year, or both.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is classified as a "face covering?"
The Face Covering Bylaw states that a "face covering" means a medical or non-medical mask or other face covering that fully covers the nose, mouth, and chin.
Where am I required to wear a mask?

People must wear a mask or face covering in any indoor space open to the public, including all or part of a building, structure, or other enclosed area (such as a public vehicle unless the person is separated from others by an installed screen, shield, or other barrier) to which members of the public have access as a right or by express or implied invitation.  This also includes public transit services and taxis within the City.

This does not include an indoor space located within:

  • A school or other educational institution
  • A hospital or other health care facility
  • A child care facility

The rule of thumb is, if the public does not have access to the space, it will be exempt under the bylaw.

Do I need to wear a mask outdoors?
Face coverings are not required in outdoor spaces such as parks, trails, sidewalks, etc. They are, however, required for restaurant/café/lounge patios.
Even if physical distancing can be achieved am I still required to wear a face mask?
Yes, a face covering is required in indoor public places, even when physical distancing can be achieved. Physical distancing in indoor public spaces is inconsistent and unpredictable and part of why this temporary bylaw is necessary.
Who is exempt?

This bylaw does not apply to:

  • Children under the age of 10 years
  • Persons unable to place, use, or remove a face covering without assistance
  • Persons unable to wear a face covering due to a mental or physical condition, disability, or limitation, or other grounds for protection from discrimination under the Alberta Human Rights Act
  • Persons consuming food or drink while seated in a designated food and drinking area or as part of a religious or spiritual ceremony
  • Persons engaged in swimming or other water activities, physical exercise, or other physical activity within an area designated for such activities
  • Persons providing or receiving care or assistance for a mental or physical condition, disability, or limitation and a face covering would have hindered providing or receiving that caregiving or assistance
  • Persons providing or receiving a service that requires personal consultation if that activity occurs in a closed office or meeting room and all participants in the personal consultation have at all times maintained physical separation of at least 2 metres from each other or there is a physical barrier to provide protection
  • A participant in a dance, theatrical, or musical or public performance, if all participants in the performance maintained at least 2 metres of physical distance from each other and did not enter the area where the public was viewing the performance
  • A Taxi Cab Operator, if barriers were in place to create physical screening between the operator and the passengers in the Taxi Cab.
Will businesses be responsible for making sure people are complying with the Bylaw?

The bylaw requires businesses to display the prescribed sign at a location that is visible to a person immediately upon entering the public premises or public vehicle.

Employers, operators, or proprietors are not expected to enforce this bylaw by evicting customers or refusing service to people who are not complying. The bylaw was drafted to minimize the chance of conflict and provide a safe environment for all.

Who will be responsible for enforcement?
The focus of this bylaw is on education first, with enforcement as a last resort option to be deployed only as needed. The approach is largely around communication and education for the public to better understand that wearing face coverings is the right thing to do. Peace Officers may issue a violation ticket of not less than $100 to anyone who has contravened the bylaw; however, the emphasis will be on education and awareness and enforcement responses prioritized appropriately.
Do I have to wear a face covering in a taxi or on the Community Bus?

Yes. A mask must be worn by passengers in a taxi cab and/or on the Community Bus.

Drivers that are separated from their passengers by an installed screen, shield or other barrier are not required to wear face coverings.

Do I have to wear a mask at the gym?
People actively engaging in athletic or fitness activities in gyms, sports centres, and fitness studios are exempt from the bylaw. However, if the facility is accessible to the public, people who are not engaging in such activities would have to wear a face covering.
Do I have to wear a mask inside of church?
Yes. Whether you are physically distanced or not, you must wear a mask at all times inside of a church. The only time that a mask can be removed is when receiving food or drink as part of the service.
How long will this bylaw in effect?
Until January 1, 2021.
Why was the public asked to send in their comments?
Since City Hall was temporarily closed to the public, the public would have been unable to attend the Public Commentary portion of the Regular Council Meeting. Therefore, an open invitation through social media for comments to be sent in via email (which would have normally been allowed during Public Commentary) were encouraged. The data was then collected and presented to Council as information only and not as a public vote.
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