The new bylaw will expire Oct. 1 (unless extended by city council) and provides exemptions for people who can’t wear a mask for medical reasons as well as for children under the age of two. Condos or apartment buildings, schools, childcare facilities, and areas that aren’t enclosed (i.e., patios) will also be exempt.
Starting July 7th, masks or face coverings will be required in Toronto when entering indoor public spaces. Wearing a mask is about protecting yourself and those arounds you, so let’s all do our part and #MaskUpTO. Learn more at: https://t.co/66CnuvAM1O pic.twitter.com/hfRnF8LRBd
— John Tory (@JohnTory) July 3, 2020
Masks will be required for all indoor spaces that are openly accessible to the public, including grocery/convenience/retail stores, malls, bakeries, indoor recreational facilities, libraries, community centres, churches/faith settings, theatres, casinos, community service agencies, entertainment facilities, arenas, galleries and business offices open to the public.
The bylaw will also be applicable to restaurants and bars when they are permitted to open for indoor service (although it allows for the temporary removal of a mask or face covering when having a meal).
“I know we all want to keep doing everything we can to keep this virus from spreading and to avoid a resurgence of cases like we are seeing elsewhere. Wearing masks or face coverings keeps you from unknowingly spreading COVID-19 and keeps the people around you from spreading it to you,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a press statement.
He notes that this bylaw makes sense from a health perspective as well as a business perspective.
“It is about respecting and protecting each other. I really believe that the vast majority of people want to protect their own health and the health of others and that they will do the right thing and wear a face covering.”
On Monday, Ontario reported no new COVID-19-related deaths in the province for the first time since March, although the province confirmed an additional 154 new cases, an increase from 138 cases reported on Sunday and 121 cases reported on Saturday. In all, there were 35,948 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario on Monday, including 2,689 deaths and 31,426 recoveries.
Evidence suggests that using a mask or face covering is an inexpensive, non-invasive measure to help control the spread of COVID-19, as it reduces the likelihood of droplets infecting those around an individual — but it doesn’t replace the need to practise safe physical distancing and washing your hands.