Mandatory Mask Bylaw Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Businesses

NEW - November 24 the Provincial Government made masks mandatory for indoor workplaces in the Calgary area which includes Airdrie.  More information is available here under 'Gathering Restrictions'.

Airdrie's mandatory face coverings (mask) bylaw is in effect as of November 6, 2020.

What is defined as a "public premise"?

"Public premise" means all or any part of a building, structure or other enclosed area to which members of the public have access as a right or by express or implied invitation but excludes any premises for which there is an enrolment or membership requirement in order to access it.

Can you please clarify the exemption for premises in which there is an enrolment or membership requirement?

The face covering requirement does not apply to places where membership or enrolment is needed to enter (for example: schools and daycares), though it does apply in common areas the public could access, e.g., lobbies or waiting rooms. The rule of thumb is: if the public does not have access to it, it will be exempt under the bylaw.

Are home-based businesses considered public spaces?

Any facility in Airdrie that is accessible to the public is considered a “public premise” which means masks/face coverings must be worn. This includes home-based businesses such as hair salons, massage therapists, etc. If your space is not accessible to members of the public, then you would fall under the exemption.

Who is exempt from wearing a mask?

The following are exempt from wearing a mask under the bylaw:

  • Children under 5
  • Persons with underlying medical conditions or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering
  • Persons who are unable to place or remove a face covering safely without assistance
  • Persons who are seated at a table or bar at a public premises that offers food or beverage services
  • Persons engaging in an athletic or fitness activity
  • Persons who a caregiving for or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability
  • Person who have temporarily removed their face covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service or at the request of an operator or proprietor for security purposes.

Am I required to put up a poster indicating masks are now mandatory? 

Yes. If you do not have one you can find one to print here

If a store owner decides to place more restrictive measures on their store (eg. asking those under age five to wear a mask) do their own rules for their business supersede the bylaw?

Business owners are able to impose more restrictive measures should they so desire, in addition to following the requirements of the City of Airdrie's bylaw. It's not different than the stores that required masks before we reached Enhanced status. Businesses cannot, however, go any less restrictive than Airdrie's bylaw.

I have an employee who has a medical exemption letter, what should be done in this case?

Persons with underlying medical conditions or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering are exempt from the face covering bylaw.

Do customers need to wear masks everywhere in a restaurant/bar/cafe except when they sit down to eat and/or drink?

Yes, when in a public place, customers should wear masks at all times unless they are seated. This means your customers should wear masks when walking to their tables, going to the rest rooms, paying or ordering at the counters, etc.

The bylaw states, those seated at a table or bar at a "public premise" that offers food or beverage services are not required to wear a mask.

Customers are refusing to wear masks. What are my rights as business owner? Can we refuse entry?

The City of Airdrie does NOT expect businesses to evict a customer or refuse service to people who are not complying with the bylaw. A business owner has the right to refuse entry to a customer, just as you would in other circumstances within your business. It is your discretion should you choose to ask a customer to leave or refuse entry.

Only a member of the RCMP or a Peace Officer can ask an individual if they fall within one of the exemptions. Your best course of action is to assume that the person not wearing a mask in your business is exempt.

Who is enforcing the bylaw? Where do I call?

Should you require the support of an RCMP Officer due to an uncooperative customer as it relates to the face coverings bylaw, please call 403.945.RCMP (7267) to connect with their call centre.

Can staff members remove their masks when they are eating or working in a private office away from others?

The bylaw focuses on "public premises." If the public doesn't have access to the areas that your staff are eating/drinking/working, then it is fine to remove your mask.

Airdrie residents are being asked to comply with several voluntary measures, including wearing a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace like an office or cubicle where you are safely distanced from others, or an appropriate barrier is in place.

Persons seated at a table or bar at a "public premises" that offers food or beverage services are not required to wear a mask.

What other measures are in place for Airdrie?

Mandatory measures in place for all municipalities under Enhanced status can be found here

 

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