Okotoks, AB: With the active COVID-19 cases now at 16, mandatory masks are required in all indoor public spaces in Okotoks, effective immediately.
The bylaw will be in effect until actives cases are under 15 for 30 consecutive days.
“The Town needs to protect the health and safety of all residents. Mandatory masks are an additional safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve more quickly,” said Mayor Bill Robertson.
The regulations will require masks to be worn in all indoor public spaces such as eating and drinking establishments, public vehicles (e.g. Okotoks Transit, taxis), entertainment establishments, retail stores, places of worship, gyms, studios, common areas of hotels, medical clinics and offices where the public has access. Masks will also continue to be required in all indoor municipal public spaces.
The bylaw excludes children under the age of two, resistant children five years and under, persons with medical conditions or disabilities and employees not working within public spaces or if they are separated by a physical barrier. Proof of exemption is not required.
The Town of Okotoks appreciates that there will be a period of adjustment for businesses to adapt their operations to the new regulations and is taking a proactive education-first approach to the bylaw. Businesses are not expected to evict a customer or refuse service to people who are not complying with the bylaw.
Municipal Enforcement Peace Officers will be visiting businesses and providing education to business operators and the general public. Peace Officers will issue warnings when necessary. When a warning is not deemed sufficient, or for repeat offenders, enforcement of the bylaw can include penalties through ticketing. The Town has applied a set fine (ticket) of:
- $100 for failing to wear a mask in indoor public places, and
- $200 for failing to display a sign at indoor public places.
Citizens are encouraged to continue to be vigilant about maintaining two metres of physical distance, avoiding large gatherings, frequently washing hands and staying home if you are sick.
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