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Mayor Nenshi says Calgary could soon be mandatory mask free

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Calgary’s mandatory mask bylaw could be lifted by the mid summer.

The mayor made the comments at a noon-hour scrum during the lunch break of the Priorities and Finance committee meeting on June 8.

Calgary first implemented the mask mandate on August 1, 2020. It required face coverings in indoor public spaces and vehicles in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The mandate was later extended to December 2021. 

However with COVID-19 cases going down, the mayor said they may lift the rules sooner rather than later. 

“The mask mandate is a relatively small part of the broader issue of reopening and how we reopen,” said Nenshi.

“The mask mandate will be gone this summer, we’re really debating week versus week, but we’ll do what’s right for Calgarians.”

He said Calgary introduced the bylaw before the provincial government released any guidance around masking. Nenshi said the city would continue to act in the best interest of Calgarians.

“As far as I’m concerned we are independent of the province and we will do what’s right for citizens and for the economy,” said Nenshi. 

According to Nenshi, businesses will be consulted throughout the process, just as they were when the mandate was first introduced. 

Nenshi says the mandate will be discussed with council in more detail at the next meeting. There are different options available, he said.