EDMONTON -- Beaumont city council has approved a mandatory mask bylaw in all publicly accessible indoor locations and public vehicles.

The bylaw will take effect on Aug. 14, and will go until Oct. 31 unless council agrees to extend it.

“Wearing a face covering isn’t just about you, it’s about protecting the health of everyone in the community. There is growing evidence face coverings can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially combined with measures such as physical distancing, regular handwashing and staying home when sick,” said Mayor John Stewart. “Council would prefer the Alberta government take a province-wide approach to mandating face coverings, but in the absence of that we are taking action to protect the health and safety of our community and keep case numbers down to avoid business closures.”

Exemptions to the bylaw include children under two or a child under five who refuses to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so, people with medical conditions, while seated in a restaurant where food or drink is served, while engaged in physical activity, or in schools or child care facilities.

Proof of exemption will not be required.

The fine for violating the bylaw is $50, but the city hopes to take an education-first approach rather than issuing fines.

Similar mask bylaws have been passed in Edmonton and St. Albert.