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Banff expands mandatory face mask bylaw to Bear Street

Click to play video: 'Banff’s face mask bylaw includes indoor and outdoor spaces' Banff’s face mask bylaw includes indoor and outdoor spaces
WATCH (July 28): The tourist hub of Banff, Alta., is now the first Canadian municipality mandating people to wear face masks in certain outdoor spaces. Heather Yourex-West explains the new rules, and how people are reacting. – Jul 28, 2020

Banff town council approved a motion Friday to expand its mandatory outdoor mask bylaw to include Bear Street.

The bylaw, which requires residents and visitors wear masks while strolling the 100 and 200 blocks of Banff Avenue, came into effect July 31. The area is temporarily closed to traffic, creating a pedestrian-only area.

Read more: Coronavirus: Calgary public schools mandate masks for all K-12 students, teachers for fall semester

The new inclusion of Bear Street is effective immediately. It was a motion by Councillor Ted Christensen, who suggested construction along Bear Street has narrowed the sidewalks, leaving users little room to social distance.

Watch: Coronavirus: Banff council passes bylaw that requires mask use indoors and outside

Council also voted to extend the closure of Banff Ave. to traffic until Sept. 18.

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It also discussed the idea of expanding the mask bylaw to include the entire downtown core, but the idea hasn’t been supported by council.

Parks Canada says so far no tickets have been handed out under the bylaw. Free masks are offered by town ambassadors, who remind those not in compliance.

– With files from Adam MacVicor

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