Masks or face coverings are now required in all enclosed public spaces in Toronto, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Last week, city council voted in favour of making masks or face coverings mandatory in indoor public settings.
Children under two years old and anyone with health conditions that would be affected by wearing a mask will be exempt.
The bylaw was written on the recommendation of the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa and will be reviewed by de Villa on a monthly basis.
“The temporary bylaw requires businesses to adopt a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn in indoor public spaces under their control,” the City said in a release.
The indoor spaces include (list below from the City of Toronto):
- retail stores
- convenience stores
- malls and shopping plazas
- grocery stores, bakeries, enclosed farmer’s markets
- restaurants and bars (when they are allowed to open for indoor service)
- recreational facilities and gyms
- 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
People will be allowed to remove their mask when having a meal at a restaurant patio or during a fitness activity. Apartment buildings and condominiums, child care facilities, schools and areas that are not enclosed such as restaurant patios will be exempt from the bylaw.
The City said officials will focus on education when enforcing the bylaw, which will also be complaint-based.
“In extreme situations and where education does not result in compliance, bylaw officers may take enforcement action as required,” the City states in a release.
In such situations where a ticket is issued, the fine is $1,000. The maximum fine under the Provincial Offences Act is $5,000.