To help limit the spread of COVID-19 and prepare for stage three of the provincial reopening plan, City Council on July 15th approved a temporary by-law to make masks mandatory in indoor public spaces. This includes restaurants, stores, places of worship, sports facilities, community venues, hotel lobbies and the public areas of City and health facilities. Masks continue to be required on transit and transit property. Residents are encouraged to continue practicing physical distancing, wash their hands frequently and stay home when sick.
Masks are not required for young children, people with medical conditions and disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a mask, and people who can’t put on or remove their mask without assistance. More information is available on ottawapublichealth.ca/masks.
Operators of these spaces are required to inform patrons of the new mask requirement verbally and with proper signs at all public entrances and in common areas of indoor spaces. If a patron refuses to wear a mask and is not exempted, the operator can contact the City for assistance. By-law officers will primarily focus on educating residents about masks. If further action is required, there may be charges with fines.
The by-law will be in place until Council’s next meeting on Wednesday, August 26, when it could be extended if warranted.