But Edmonton residents who aren’t comfortable wearing a mask now have another option in the form of “mask exemption” cards. Unlike fake cards distributed by conspiracy theorists and anti-mask groups, these ones come with the city’s official endorsement.
The cards are orange and roughly the size and shape of a standard business card. “I cannot wear a mask or face covering,” they read, alongside the City of Edmonton logo.
WATCH: Can you be medically exempt from wearing a mask? Story continues below.
They’re part of the city’s indoor mask plan introduced earlier this month. The bylaw requires masks or face coverings inside all public indoor spaces such as grocery stores, malls and libraries in the city. But cardholders are exempt.
“If someone identifies as having some type of ailment, for example, that would limit their ability to wear a mask effectively or be detrimental to their health, they can get these cards that are now being issued,” city councillor Jon Dziadyk told HuffPost Canada. “It’s an official document from the City of Edmonton.”
The goal of the cards is to give people a way to acknowledge their inability to wear a mask if they are challenged in a city business or indoor space where it’s required.
Thousands of cards are being distributed by city staff at recreation centres across the city. Dziadyk said residents don’t have to justify or explain their reason for needing one, and that the program relies on the “honour system.”
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