The City of Burlington has passed a new bylaw that requires residents to wear a mask or face covering while inside enclosed public spaces.
The new bylaw comes into effect on July 20 and will remain in effect until September 20 unless the City decides to extend or revoke it.
This new requirement will include exemptions for people who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons–including mental health concerns–and children under the age of three.
Further, residents will be permitted to temporarily remove their mask when receiving services, having a meal, or engaging in athletic or fitness activities.
The following settings will now require masks:
- retail stores
- convenience stores
- malls, shopping plazas
- grocery stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets (enclosed areas)
- restaurants, bars (when permitted to open for indoor service)
- indoor recreational facilities (unless exempted)
- community centres
- community service agencies
- personal service settings
- churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and faith settings
- art galleries, museums
- banquet halls, convention centres, arenas and other event spaces
- real estate facilities such as open house, presentation centres
- common areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (e.g. lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms)
- entertainment facilities including concert venues, theatres and cinemas
- business offices open to the public
“The situation around this pandemic changes daily and as new information emerges, we must be ready to respond quickly. We recently learned of our ability to pass a bylaw, and with the support of Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, we believe passing a temporary mandatory mask bylaw is another way to keep our community healthy and safe as we restart our economy and open more activities to the public,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in a news release. “Halton Region will also be considering a bylaw on July 15, but we can’t wait. Passing our own helps us ensure the bylaw meets the needs of our local community. There will be exemptions and we will take an educational approach to enforcement, with ticketing as a last resort.
“I implore everyone to treat each other with kindness and compassion, and not shame or stigmatize those who have legitimate reasons for being unable to wear masks. This has been democracy in action, based on health evidence and advice. I want to thank everyone who provided feedback. We tried to reflect the support, as well as the concerns we heard in this bylaw proposal,” She continued.