Mississauga City Council approved a new by-law requiring face coverings to be worn in all indoor public spaces that are accessible to the public. The by-law is in effect as of July 10, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We want to get life back to normal as soon as possible, allow more businesses to open more quickly, and get our City facilities re-opened as soon as possible.” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “To do this, we need to remain vigilant, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, but also wear a mask in indoor spaces where the spread of the virus can happen more easily. This is why we’ve made the decision to make face coverings like masks mandatory in indoor settings. By wearing a mask you protect others from potential exposure to the virus and you help us prevent a large second wave in the Fall. We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
The by-law reflects the recommendations made by health authorities at the federal, provincial and regional levels to wear face coverings in public where physical distancing may be difficult. On June 30, 2020 the Region of Peel announced steps would be taken toward mandatory masks in indoor public spaces.
The City’s new by-law will require businesses to have a policy in place and to prominently display their rules. It will apply to all indoor public spaces that are open and accessible including:
• retail stores
• shopping malls
• businesses that primarily sell food including supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries and convenience stores
• churches, mosques and other places of worship, except during a religious rite or ceremony that is incompatible with the face being covered
• indoor sports and recreational facilities
• shopping malls or similar structure which contains multiple places of business
• commercial establishments providing personal care services that are permitted to open under the Emergency Orders
• common areas of hotels and motels and other short term accommodations, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities, but not the common areas of residential apartments buildings or condominiums
• libraries, museums, galleries and other similar facilities
• banquet halls, conventions centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces
• concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos and other entertainment establishments
• premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes
• MiWay buses, taxis and private vehicles for hire such as Uber and Lyft
• Municipal buildings
• other businesses that are permitted to operate in accordance with the Emergency Orders
Face coverings (including a mask, bandana or scarf) are to be constructed of cloth, linen or other similar fabric that fits securely to the head and are large enough to completely and comfortably cover the mouth, nose and chin without gaping.
Certain facilities are exempt from the by-law, including schools, daycares, hospitals and health care offices. It also exempts portions of buildings used for day camps or for sports training as permitted by the Province.
Exemptions also include persons:
- children under the age of two
- who have trouble breathing or are otherwise unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons or reasons of disability, including people who are unable to remove masks without assistance
- who are engaged in an athletic, fitness or aquatic activity in accordance with the Emergency Orders
- consuming food or drink inside a bar or restaurant (once the Province permits those types of business to open for indoor dining)
- employees and agents of the Operator or Municipality within an area not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier;
Persons will not be required to provide proof to meet any of the exemptions set out in the By-law.
- Under the City’s bylaw, operators of businesses will be responsible for ensuring those entering their premises comply with the by-law requirements. Under the by-law, individuals are required to wear a face covering before entering and while inside an indoor public space. The City is applying to the Ministry of the Attorney General for set fines of less than $500 for both businesses and individuals. The City will be taking the approach of education and awareness regarding the new by-law first, followed by enforcement. Enforcement of the by-law will be the responsibility of the City’s By-law Enforcement Officers (non-City property), Corporate Security Officers (City facilities and buildings) and Transit Enforcement Officers (City transit terminals and MiWay buses).
Health and Safety
Residents are reminded that face coverings must be worn properly and to wash hands before and after putting on and taking them off. Face coverings are to cover the nose and mouth. Do not touch the mask or otherwise move it until ready to remove it completely. If disposable, ensure masks are disposed of appropriately once removed; reusable face coverings should be washed with regular laundry once removed. For more information visit Region of Peel.
To help overcome COVID-19, the Region of Peel Public Health continues to recommend and remind of the four core steps:
- Stay apart
Maintain 2-metres distance from everyone outside your safe social circle.
- Lather up
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
- Mask up
Wear a non-medical mask where maintaining physical distancing is difficult and where masks are mandatory. Protect the supply of medical grade masks for health care workers.
- Get tested
If you think you might have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it you should get tested. While waiting for test results, stay home, self-isolate and prevent potential spread.
To stay informed on COVID-19 impacts on City services, please visit: mississauga.ca/recovery or call 311.