Mandatory Face Covering in Indoor Public Places

cjos covid5

New provincial regulations require mandatory face coverings in all public indoor settings, with specific exemptions. The requirements were part of changes announced Friday, October 2, to help slow the spread of the second wave of COVID-19.

The Order issued September 10, 2020, by the Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health requiring face coverings in indoor public places expires on October 9, 2020, and will not be renewed.

The provincial regulations are similar to the Grey Bruce Order; the main differences between the two are that:

  • The person responsible for the business organization "shall ensure" compliance.  Ensuring compliance is a higher expectation than the Grey Bruce Order that required "best efforts".
  • Children between 2 and 5 are not exempt even if refusing to wear a facial covering. 
  • Sector-specific exemptions are not available for churches, libraries, community centres, private and public transportation, hospitals, health facilities, or regulated health professionals' offices.

It should be noted that while certain exemptions apply under the provincial regulations, it is not necessary for a person to present evidence that they are entitled to any of the exceptions.

The updated provincial regulations are available at Ontario Regulation 364/20: Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020

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