Leamington Council Approves Mandatory Mask Bylaw

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The Municipality of Leamington will have its own mandatory mask bylaw.

Mayor Hilda MacDonald says council approved the bylaw Tuesday night.

She says the bylaw calls for mandatory masks in all indoor commercial and municipal buildings.

"We thought that if the municipality takes the lead and says you know what, you have to wear them or you'll be subject to a fine, not only will you as the customer be subject to a fine, so will the establishment," says MacDonald.  "So now the stores need to have a policy in place and then they need to tell their customers, you have to wear a mask unless you have a health condition.  You can't use any other reasons for not wearing a mask." 

MacDonald says the municipality felt it was important to create its own bylaw.

"Because we are a hot spot in the region, we felt we needed to show some leadership in saying you know what, we're going to try and help keep our people safe but we also need to be brave and say if you don't wear them, there's going to be a fine," says MacDonald.      

She says the bylaw does not include churches, daycare centres, schools or the hospital.

She says the amount for the fine has not been set.

MacDonald says the municipality plans to educate businesses and the public for four to six weeks before fines are issued.

At the end of June, the local health unit issued a mandatory face covering order.

The health unit's order requires all owners or operators of a commercial establishment in Windsor-Essex to prohibit entry of person who is not wearing a face covering.

There are a couple of exceptions such as if a person cannot wear one for medical reasons or age.