Business owners figuring out how to enforce mask bylaw
EDMONTON -- The City of Edmonton has passed a bylaw making masks mandatory inside public places, but critics are wondering how business owners will enforce the law.
Many local businesses have some sort of mask rules in place already. Brittany White is a fitness instructor. Her studio, which has been open since mid-June, already requires instructors to wear masks.
“Sometimes it’s just kind of hard to understand what we’re saying, but you just gotta really annunciate,” she said. “Honestly it’s not a big difference.”
Starting Saturday, clients will have to mask up too.
Exercise is one of the activities exempt from the bylaw city council passed Wednesday, but in most businesses, buses, and common areas, customers will have to cover up, or face a potential $100 fine.
Kris Armitage of Kent of Inglewood even provides customers with coverings if they don’t bring their own. He considers the bylaw a backup.
“If you’re in the store, you’re wearing a mask,” said he said.
It’s one thing for small businesses to keep tabs on customers, but critics say it could be much harder to police mask-use in big busy buildings like grocery stores.
One independent grocer who spoke to CTV News Edmonton said his customers will expect him to confront rule breakers, which could cause a scene. He’s working on getting de-escalation training for his staff.
City peace officers have the authority to hand out hundred dollar tickets, but it will be a last resort.
“It’s not going to be punitive, it’s going to be supportive and helpful in terms of building the awareness that this is a requirement,” said Adam Laughlin, Edmonton’s Interim City Manager.
Most business owners said it’s just one more item on a long list of public health precautions - we all have to get used to.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson