The fourth largest city in North America now requires everyone to wear a mask or face covering in enclosed public spaces as of July 7.
Toronto City Council voted unanimously in favour of wearing face coverings just a week ago, on June 30, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The bylaw, which goes into effect today requires your nose, mouth and chin to be covered with a mask or face cover without gapping.
The person or organization who owns or is responsible for the operation of a facility or business will need to put a policy in place to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by the public in the enclosed public spaces under their control.
There are exceptions for those who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other reasonable accommodations.
The policy put in place must include signage and training for staff on the requirements of the bylaw.
Toronto City Council acted on the recommendation of reports by the Medical Officer of Health and the City Solicitor. The bylaw is temporary and will be in effect until 12:01 a.m. on the first day after the end of the first Council meeting following summer recess (currently scheduled for September 30 and October 1, 2020), unless extended by Council but will be reviewed monthly and adjusted if necessary.
Toronto is now in stage 2 of the Province of Ontario’s plan to gradually reopen businesses, community facilities and services that were closed due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 is still circulating in Toronto and the risk for its continued spread remains. While the number of new COVID-19 cases continue to go down, there are still hundreds of new cases each day. Many cities have had to close down again soon after reopening due to sharp increases in the number of infections.
New scientific evidence shows the use of masks is a convenient and inexpensive way to help control the spread of COVID-19. If there is a high level of compliance in wearing masks, COVID-19 spread can be reduced.
Masks or face coverings are also required on TTC vehicles as of July 2, City ferries to Toronto Island Park, as well as in certain business settings, like salons and tattoo parlours, under the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Face masks and coverings are not replacements for social distancing. It’s in addition to keeping that distance of two metres or six feet away from others. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 you also need to wash your hands often, and stay home when you’re sick.
Read a fact sheet on how to properly and safely wear and care for a non-medical mask on toronto.ca.