Face masks now mandatory in public indoor spaces in Toronto
As of July 7, face coverings or masks are mandatory at indoor public spaces in Toronto. Most of the GTA is moving in the same direction this week.
Toronto City Council created the bylaw in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19, following the advice from the city's Medical Officer of Health.
The city says, the new bylaw applies to all indoor spaces that are openly accessible to the public, including:
- retail stores
- convenience stores
- malls, shopping plazas
- grocery stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets (enclosed areas)
- restaurants, bars (when permitted to open for indoor service)
- indoor recreational facilities, gyms, swimming pools (when permitted to open)
- community centres
- community service agencies
- personal service settings
- churches, mosque, synagogue, temples and faith settings
- art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos
- banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spaces
- real estate facilities such as open house, presentation centres
- common areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (e.g. lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms)
- entertainment facilities including concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos
- business offices open to the public
It will require “the person or organization who owns or is responsible for the operation of a facility or business to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings be worn by the public in the enclosed public spaces under their control,” subject to some exemptions.
The bylaw includes exemptions for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children under the age of two, and other reasonable accommodations. You can also temporarily remove your mask when receiving services, having a meal, or engaging in athletic or fitness activity. The bylaw does not apply to apartment buildings and condominiums, child care facilities and schools, and areas that are not enclosed, such as restaurant patios.
Meanwhile, CP24 reported that cities and regional governments in parts of the GTA look like they will also implement mandatory mask orders.
Tomorrow, the City of Brampton will ratify a similar measure. In Durham Region, a mandatory mask order takes effect on Friday.
York Region Council will meet on Thursday to discuss and possibly pass a mandatory mask measure.
In Halton Region, Oakville City Council will meet Wednesday to discuss a possible mandatory mask order.
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