Town of Canmore

Mandatory Mask Bylaw for Business

To do our part keeping our community safe and our economy running, the Town of Canmore's Mandatory Mask Bylaw went into effect August 7, 2020. It requires people to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. It also has requirements for businesses.

The requirements that business owners and operators need to know are:

  • The spirit of the bylaw is educational to encourage those who are physically able to wear masks to do so in all public indoor spaces. 
  • Businesses are not responsible for enforcing the bylaw or providing education about the bylaw. 
  • Businesses are required to display Town of Canmore bylaw signage in public entryways of their business or vehicle OR create and display their own signage that meets minimum size and wording requirements.
  • There are medical exemptions to the bylaw and proof of exemption is not required. Refusing service to someone with a medical exemption could result in a human rights complaint.

    Mask Requirements for Business

    Under the bylaw, business employers, operators, or proprietors are required to display messaging in public entryways of the business. Failure to display signage can result in a penalty of $100.

     If businesses already have signage in place with face-covering requirement messaging, they are welcome to utilize that as an alternate to the Town of Canmore signage provided below as downloadable PDFs. They do not need to be printed in colour.

    Canmore Mask Bylaw Poster - General

    Canmore Mask Bylaw Poster - Food and Beverage

    pdf Canmore Mask Bylaw Poster - Fitness Facilities (434 KB)

    Canmore Mask Bylaw - Taxi

    Minimum Size Requirements

    A sign posted in public premises must be at least 20 cm by 26 cm and must have a surface area of not less than 520 cm², and a sign posted in a public vehicle must be at least 10 cm by 10 cm and must have a surface area of not less than 100 cm² 

    Wording and Placement Requirements

    Under the bylaw, employers, operators, or proprietors must prominently display a sign at every entrance in a location that is visible to a person immediately upon entering the public premises or a public vehicle that contains the following messages:

    "All persons must wear a mask or face covering that fully covers the nose, mouth, and chin as required by Town of Canmore Bylaw 2020-20."


    What is the Bylaw?

    • The Mandatory Mask Bylaw (2020-20) compels residents, visitors, and businesses to wear a mask or face covering in all public indoor settings (some exceptions apply). 
    • This bylaw is intended to be temporary. It will come into effect as of August 7, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. 
    • The bylaw mandates that face coverings be worn in the following places:

      Place

      Example

      Public transit

      Roam Transit

      Public vehicles for hire

      Taxis, shuttles

      Public indoor spaces

      Malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, churches

      Town of Canmore facilities

      Canmore Recreation Centre, Elevation Place, Civic Centre


    Essential information

    Acceptable masks and face coverings
    Masks and face coverings appropriate under this bylaw include non-medical masks, medical masks, or other face coverings such as a bandana or scarf, that securely covers the nose, mouth, and chin. Face shields are also an acceptable face covering. Click here for information about effective masks and face coverings.
    Public spaces that will require masks
    People will be expected to wear a face-covering in any part of an enclosed space to which the public can readily access. The bylaw excludes premises for which there is an enrolment or membership requirement such as schools and educational institutions. The rule of thumb is, if the public does not have access to it, it will be exempt under the bylaw. Although the first-priority for Peace Officers is education, the fine for not wearing a mask is $100.

    “Public premises” means the interior area of any building or structure to which the public is invited or permitted access, either expressly or by implication regardless of whether a fee is charged for entry, in order to receive or to provide goods or services, including but not limited to the public areas of the following:

    • Restaurants, cafés, cafeterias, and outdoor patios associated with these establishments; 
    • Retail establishments;
    • Shopping malls or similar structures that contain multiple places of businesses; 
    • Grocery stores;
    • Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other places of worship; 
    • Libraries, museums, art galleries, recreational facilities, cinemas, theatres, concert venues, special event venues, convention centers, or other similar entertainment, cultural, or leisure facilities; 
    • Common areas of sports facilities, sports clubs, gyms, yoga studios, or other similar establishments, such as lobbies, elevators, and locker rooms/changing rooms; 
    • Common areas of hotels, motels, and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms, or other common use facilities;
    • Health and wellness facilities and personal services facilities;
    • Temporary facilities, such as construction trailers and temporary sales offices; 
    • Municipal facilities; and, 
    • Other businesses, organizations, and places that are permitted to operate in accordance with the Government of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy. 
    • Public vehicles, unless the person is separated from other persons by an installed screen, shield, or other barrier.
    A person who is employed by, or is an agent of, the operator of a public premise is not obligated to wear a mask while:
    • Is an area of the public premises that is not designated for public access; or
    • When located either within or behind a physical barrier including but not limited to an installed screen, shield, or other barrier, implemented between any person not required to wear a face-covering under this exception and any other person.

    Exceptions

    Exceptions to the face coverings bylaw include:
    • children under 2 years of age;
    • persons with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a face-covering;
    • persons who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering safely without assistance;
    • persons who are eating or drinking at a public premise that offers food or beverage services in designated seating areas;
    • persons engaging in an athletic, fitness or water activity, the latter being an activity where their face may be submerged in water, including but not limited to persons employed as a lifeguard;
    • persons who are caregiving for or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability; or
    • persons who have temporarily removed their face covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service.

    Please note: Proof is not required if someone has an exception. Businesses may not deny services as not everyone is required to wear a face covering. Businesses are not expected to enforce this bylaw.
    Some public spaces are exempt from this bylaw. These include:
    • Schools, as defined by the School Act, RSA 200 c S-3;
    • Day Care and Day Home facilities, as defined in the Town of Canmore’s Land Use Bylaw; 
    • Portions of buildings that are being used for the purpose of providing day camps;
    • In areas not open to the general public in offices of professional service providers such as lawyers and accountants where clients receive services; 
    • Hospitals, independent health facilities, and offices of regulated health professionals; and
    • School busses.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What do I do if I see someone not adhering to the bylaw/refuses to wear a mask in my store?
    Employers, operators or proprietors are not expected to enforce this bylaw. The bylaw was drafted to minimize the chance of conflict and provide a safe environment for all. Those exempt will not be required to provide proof of exemption.

    Who enforces the bylaw?
    Peace Officers are responsible for enforcing the bylaw. Our primary focus is on educating residents and visitors on the importance of wearing masks. Officers will first educate anyone not meeting the bylaw requirements and will only enforce the bylaw with a fine if there is no compliance. Fines are $100.
    How long will this bylaw be in effect?
    This bylaw is intended to be temporary. It will come into effect as of August 7, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. There is no expiry date included in the proposed bylaw. Should the time come when this bylaw is no longer necessary, Administration will bring a separate bylaw requesting the bylaw be repealed, or replaced, as required.
    What are the fines for not wearing a mask in a public indoor space?
    Our primary focus is on educating residents and visitors on the importance of wearing masks. Peace Officers will first educate anyone not meeting the bylaw requirements and will only enforce the bylaw with a fine if there is no compliance. Fines are $100.
    What is considered an indoor public premises?
    “Public premises” means the interior area of any building or structure to which the public is invited or permitted access, either expressly or by implication regardless of whether a fee is charged for entry, in order to receive or to provide goods or services, including but not limited to the public areas of the following:

    • Restaurants, cafés, cafeterias, and outdoor patios associated with these establishments; 
    • Retail establishments;
    • Shopping malls or similar structures that contain multiple places of businesses; 
    • Grocery stores;
    • Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other places of worship; 
    • Libraries, museums, art galleries, recreational facilities, cinemas, theatres, concert venues, special event venues, convention centers, or other similar entertainment, cultural, or leisure facilities; 
    • Common areas of sports facilities, sports clubs, gyms, yoga studios, or other similar establishments, such as lobbies, elevators, and locker rooms/changing rooms; 
    • Common areas of hotels, motels, and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms, or other common use facilities;
    • Health and wellness facilities and personal services facilities;
    • Temporary facilities, such as construction trailers and temporary sales offices; 
    • Municipal facilities; and, 
    • Other businesses, organizations, and places that are permitted to operate in accordance with the Government of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy. 
    • Public vehicles, unless the person is separated from other persons by an installed screen, shield, or other barrier.
    Are businesses required to enforce the bylaw?
    No. Peace Officers are responsible for educating the public about this new bylaw and for enforcing the bylaw if there is an instance of education with non-compliance. Fines are $100. 

    Businesses may have their own policies for managing mask use on their property, but they are not required to enforce the Town’s bylaw and should avoid confrontation. Businesses are not required but are welcome to share information about the bylaw requirements and exemptions.
    What are businesses required to do?
    Businesses are required to post the notice about the bylaw requirement. Under the bylaw, employers, operators, or proprietors must prominently display a sign at every entrance in a location that is visible to a person immediately upon entering the public premises or a public vehicle that contains the following messages:

    "All persons must wear a mask or face covering that fully covers the nose, mouth, and chin as required by Town of Canmore Bylaw 2020-20."

    A sign posted in public premises must be at least 20 cm by 26 cm and must have a surface area of not less than 520 cm², and a sign posted in a public vehicle must be at least 10 cm by 10 cm and must have a surface area of not less than 100 cm²

    The Town of Canmore has provided signage on our Business Hub that you can use. If businesses already have signage in place with face-covering requirement messaging, they are welcome to utilize that as an alternate to the Town of Canmore signage provided. 
    Do masks need to be worn in places of worship?
    Places of worship would be included in the bylaw definition of a public premise, as they are enclosed buildings that members of the public have access to. Those attending places of worship are permitted to temporarily remove their face covering to provide or receive service, such as to receive communion. Weddings or funerals in a place of worship are not considered public events, and therefore attendees are not required to wear face coverings. But face coverings are strongly recommended in settings where it is difficult or impossible to maintain physical distance.
    Do my clients need to wear masks at my fitness facility?
    People actively engaging in athletic or fitness activities in gyms, sports centres, water-based sports, and fitness studios would be 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 masks need to be worn at private functions?
    If a private function is not open to the public, masks are not required. Proper physical distance must still be followed and masks are still strongly recommended. 
    Do masks need to be worn on taxis?
    Yes. The bylaw also includes taxi services.
    Where can I get masks?
    Does this bylaw apply in hotels and other forms of accommodation?
    Yes. Any publicly accessible space, even on private property, requires masks to be worn by everyone not exempt under the bylaw, or staff in private spaces where they cannot maintain physical distancing requirements. Examples of publicly accessible spaces in hotels and other accommodations include lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms, or other common use facilities. Masks are not required to be worn by guests within their own private rooms within hotels or accommodations.
    Are all staff in business establishments required to wear masks?
     If staff are sharing an indoor space with the public, they are required to wear a face covering under the bylaw unless the person is separated from the public by an installed screen, shield or other barrier.
    Are face shields considered a mask?
    The bylaw defines face coverings that fully over the mouth, nose and chin, ensuring a barrier that limits the transmission of infectious respiratory droplets. A face shield only qualifies under the bylaw if it wraps around the face and chin, fully covering the mouth, nose and chin.
    Will individuals need to wear a face covering if physical distancing can be achieved?
    Yes. Physical distancing in indoor public spaces is inconsistent and unpredictable and part of why this temporary bylaw is necessary. The bylaw is written in a manner that makes it easy for citizens to understand and easy to achieve compliance.
    Is a person singing or speaking on stage an exemption?
    The bylaw applies to people that are speaking or singing on stage, although there could be thought given to installing a screen, shield or other barrier between the person singing or speaking and the audience rather than using a face covering.
    Are there any instances where masks would need to be worn in an outdoor setting in Canmore? If so, where?
    The bylaw only applies to enclosed indoor public spaces, but face coverings are strongly recommended in outdoor settings where it is difficult or impossible to maintain physical distance.
    Do people have to wear a mask when they are eating or drinking?
    The exemption in the bylaw refers to people who are eating or drinking at a public premises that offers food or beverage services. That means people are only exempt when they are actively seated at their table. If they were waiting in the lobby or using the restroom, a face covering is required.
    Not all patrons are aware of the bylaw and ignore our signage. What is the Town of Canmore doing to educate people?
    We acknowledge that getting used to wearing masks in all public indoor spaces is a learning curve, and it will take time for us all to get used to it. Here are some examples of what the Town of Canmore has done to raise awareness about the new bylaw:
    • Installing informational road signs at Canmore entrances - completed
    • Launching a radio campaign in conjunction with the Town of Banff in Calgary/Edmonton - completed
    • Regional media interviews - completed
    • Facebook posts – in progress
    • Working with TCK to share information - in progress
    • Providing information for residents, businesses, and visitors on our website: canmore.ca/masks - completed
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