There continues to be some confusion over the City of Lethbridge’s temporary, mandatory face covering bylaw.

It was passed by City Council on August 24th with an aim at preventing the spread of COVID-19, however the bylaw does allow for some exemptions. Those include:

  • Schools and other educational facilities
  • Hospitals and health care facilities
  • Child care facilities
  • Areas exclusively accessed or used by the public place’s employees or a public vehicle operator provided that physical barriers or physical distancing practices are implemented between any person not required to wear a face covering by operation of this exception and any other person

Robin Harper, the City’s General Manager of Recreation & Culture says they’re aware of so-called “Bylaw Exemption Cards” being sold online to Lethbridge residents.

He says these cards are not endorsed by the City, and stresses residents are not at all required to show proof of being exempt. “What we’re asking the public to do, is provide proof of exemption verbally. We’re not requiring them (people) to provide a doctor’s note or card that says they’re exempt. We’re relying on people’s honesty to follow the intent and spirit of the bylaw.”

The fine caught not adhering to the bylaw is $100, but the City is focusing on education and encouraging residents to wear a mask as a way to protect those around them.

Harper also said Thursday that “we’re relying on people to be respectful, compassionate, and not make it about being a tattle-tale and to just just be honest.”

Bylaw 6239 states that a face covering must be worn at all times while in an indoor, enclosed, or substantially enclosed public place or in a public vehicle. This includes places like malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, churches, taxi and ride-sharing businesses.