Edmonton is giving out exemption cards to people who don't want to wear face masks
Just one week after Edmonton's mandatory face mask policy went into effect, the city is giving out exemption cards, which excuse residents from wearing a face covering in public areas.
Edmonton residents can now obtain the orange exemption cards that say "I cannot wear a mask or a face covering" and "Please give me 2 metres of space" at seven centres across the city.
Although the cards are intended for residents with medical conditions, the program is based entirely on the honour system, per the government website.
"We trust members of the public are adhering to the spirit and purpose of the program," the website says.
Yup. No doctor's note required.
Tensions are high and this mandatory mask bylaw is not meant to increase those tensions.— Jon Dziadyk (@JonDziadyk) August 7, 2020
To alleviate some of the stress surrounding being unable to wear a mask, @CityofEdmonton will provide you with an official mask exemption card.#yeg #yegcc pic.twitter.com/0iK6JmILz7
According to the Edmonton bylaw, the only exceptions to the mandatory mask rule are:
However, the free "proof of exemption" card can be handed out to just about anyone, no questions asked — and Edmonton residents have some thoughts on the matter.
Is this real?— John Epler (@eplerjc) August 9, 2020
Are you kidding me?
"Is this fake?" one person wrote. "Because the only way someone should be given an exception card is if their doctor issues it, not a rec centre."
"As a person with a compromised immune system, I felt safe to go out for the first time in ages because of the level of compliance," another person wrote. "Thanks for providing a loophole."
You can’t make this stuff up 🤦♂️— Mike Nickel (@ClrMikeNickel) August 10, 2020
Low cases in Edmonton.
People voluntary wearing masks.@doniveson makes mandatory masks motion.
Now, anyone can get a “no questions asked” exemption card.
Mayor: restore public confidence, stop playing doctor, & let provincial health lead. pic.twitter.com/NvgFFKNR9Y
The government website says that the cards were created so that people with a personal exemption to the face mask bylaw don't need to provide a reason or explanation.
"Some may wish to show an official signifier of their exemption, especially if they feel this will help them avoid potential questions from other members of the public, business owners/employees or City peace officers," the website says.
Officials said that 120 cards have already been handed out at the Clareview rec centre on Saturday, per CTV News.
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