Region-Wide Mandatory Mask By-Law Kicks In This Friday, July 31st

Niagara Regional Council adopts mandatory mask by-law to combat the spread of COVID-19

News from N iagara’s Regional Government

Posted July 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

(All we can say here at Niagara At Large is that it is about time for this. Please read details about the bylaw and how it applies to those of us who live here and to those that visit our region below.)

Niagara, Ontario – On July 23, 2020,as part of their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, Niagara Regional Council approved a by-law making it mandatory to wear a face covering or non-medical mask in enclosed public places.

The by-law comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 31, 2020 and will remain in effect until Oct. 1, 2020 unless extended by Regional Council.

The by-law applies to the following enclosed indoor places:

  • Effective across Niagara, Ontario Friday, July 31st

    Retail stores where goods and services are sold to customers
  • Businesses that primarily sell food including restaurants
  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries and convenience stores
  • Churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and other places of worship, except during a religious rite or ceremony that is incompatible with the face being covered
  • Shopping malls or similar structures which contain multiple places of business
  • Lobby areas of commercial buildings
  • Common areas of hotels and motels and other short term accommodations, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities but does not include the common areas of residential apartment buildings or condominiums
  • Laundromats
  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Fitness centres, gyms, other recreational and sports facilities and clubhouses
  • Arcades and other amusement facilities
  • Premises utilized as an open house, presentation centres or other facility for real estate purposes
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites and similar attractions
  • Businesses providing personal care services
  • Banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces
  • Public transit operated by Niagara Region and local area municipalities
  • Municipal buildings

When it comes to children, every child that is five years old or older will be required to wear a mask.

Under the by-law, all businesses operating in Niagara must have a policy regarding the wearing of face coverings that prevent persons from entering without a mask. Additionally, businesses must ensure that staff receive training in the requirements of the policy and provide hand sanitizer at all public entrances.

Exemptions

 As some individuals may be unable to wear a mask, Niagara Region is asking residents to be supportive to others in our community who may be exempt and remind residents that every person’s situation is different. For those who are unable to wear a mask, the by-law does not require those individuals to disclose the reason for the exemption.

The by-law also makes exemptions for indoor locations that would already have their own policies, or would be subject to other provincial legislation or guidelines:

Day cares, schools, post secondary institutions and other facilities used solely for educational purposes

Hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals

Buildings and services owned or operated by the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government of Canada

An indoor area of a building that is accessible only to employees

Portions of buildings that are being used for the purpose of providing day camps for children or for the training of amateur or professional athletes

If residents or businesses have any questions or concerns regarding this by-law, more information is available by visiting niagararegion.ca/covid19.

Quotes

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“The decision made tonight by Regional Council demonstrates a commitment to taking every possible step to protect the health of our residents and ensure our economy can operate as safely as possible. As we move into stage three starting tomorrow, it is more important than ever that we take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. I am confident that the residents of Niagara understand that wearing means they are being good neighbours and considerate of those in the community.”
Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair

 

Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji, Niagara Region’s medical officer of health (acting)

“With fewer government mandated restrictions on business to slow the spread of infection, the balance has shifted to each of us as citizens to take responsibility for slowing the spread of COVID-19. More than ever, we all need to keep to metres distance from each other, to wash or sanitize our hands frequently, to wear face coverings when we can’t keep a 2 metre distance, whether indoors or outdoors, and monitor our health for any symptoms of illness so we can be tested if we do get sick.”
~ Dr. Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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