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Patrick Brown makes face masks mandatory on public transit in Brampton

Last Updated Jun 3, 2020 at 3:11 pm EDT

Brampton mayor Patrick Brown. TWITTER/Patrick Brown

Starting next month, it will be mandatory to wear a face covering while riding public transit in some parts of Peel Region.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says as of July 2nd, riders on Brampton Transit will be required to wear a face mask.

Brown says it can be a non-medical mask or a scarf or other type of face covering.

The mayor’s directive goes one step further than Brampton Transit, which as recently as Wednesday said it was “strongly encouraged” for transit riders to wear a non-medical mask at bus stops, terminals and on buses where physical distancing is not always possible.

“The reality is we have a lot of people taking public transit for essential work and I want to take every precaution possible to make sure we’re keeping these transit passengers safe, as well as operators – we’ve had five operators who have tested positive,” said Brown.

In Toronto, it is not mandatory for riders on the TTC to wear a face covering although it is strongly recommended.

Brown also had a warning for young people and what he called their “reckless behaviour” after bylaw officers laid more than a dozen charges related to illegal gatherings.

Brown said the city received 179 complaints this past week for “residential social gatherings” and that 19 of the 27 charges laid were for parties in people’s backyards.

“Please, understand this is not the time for social gatherings,” said Brown. “I continue to be alarmed that we have a high number of young people, between the ages of 20 and 29, testing positive. You may not appreciate the severity of this virus but you are spreading it in our community.”

Brown added if the financial penalties weren’t enough of a deterrent, people should recognize that they are putting the lives of their loved ones at risk.

Brampton has been identified as one of the hot spots in the province for new cases of COVID-19 with more than 2,500 of the almost 5,000 cases in Peel Region along with 75 of the region’s 281 deaths.