Mask wearing is now mandatory in all public indoor spaces in Edmonton.

Effective today, Wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory in all indoor public places and public vehicles. This applies to the publicly accessible areas of businesses/retail and includes Transit, Transit centres and LRT platforms.#WearAMaskYEG pic.twitter.com/l7zlfBBjKA

— City of Edmonton (@CityofEdmonton) August 1, 2020

On Wednesday, city council voted 10-3 to make masks mandatory in all public indoor spaces.

The bylaw applies to not just city-owned facilities, but privately owned businesses, too. Face coverings will be required in retail stores, entertainment venues, rec centres, vehicles-for-hire and more.

For the community group Masks 4 Canada, which is made up of doctors as well as every day Canadians, the logic behind the decision is sound.

“Infection spreads exponentially, so anything you can do to reduce that you’re going to have an exponential effect,” said Dr. Matthew Butcher of Masks 4 Canada.

 “In a city of a million people, there’s likely going to be some people who have a sore throat and don’t take their symptoms seriously, and go out and about and you have no way of knowing who that person is,” said Butcher. “So it’s protection for everyone and reasonably if I want to be protected from others I need to be willing to protect others as well.”

Many Edmontonians seem to agree.

“Being in quarantine this long, I think it should have been done from the beginning, however that being said we’re in a pandemic, anything we can do to stop it I’m all in,” Jeslyn O’Leary said Saturday.

 “I don’t have a problem with it. If it wasn’t mandated I may not do it, but you know what, if it’s going to keep everybody safe then it’s what should be done,” said Shelly Severson.

The rule will not apply to anyone under the age of two, those who cannot put on or remove the mask on their own and those who cannot due to a physical or mental concern or limitation.

Rule violators could be fined $100

Calgary and Banff have both instituted a similar rule, with $50 and $150 fines dished out. A $200 fine could be given to a businesses for not having proper mask signage as well.

Strathcona County will make masks mandatory in indoor county facilities and on transit as of Aug. 4.