Masks to be made mandatory in indoor public spaces in Montreal by July 27: Plante

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by Selena Ross, CTV Montreal

Masks are soon going to be mandatory in all of Montreal's indoor spaces that are open to the public.

Mayor Valérie Plante announced the move on Monday afternoon on her Twitter and Facebook accounts, saying the city is working on a new bylaw and aims to put it into effect by July 27.

"Over the past few days, we have witnessed the emergence of some outbreaks in the suburbs of Montreal, which could undermine the efforts we have been making since the beginning of this pandemic," said the Facebook statement.

She said the new rule will apply to "enclosed public places" and that the city will "draw on the experiences of Canadian cities that have already adopted such a bylaw or are about to do so."

Currently in Montreal, masks are only mandatory on the city's public transit and in one suburb, Cote-Saint-Luc.

Plante said the move had been encouraged by local business owners.

She wrote that over the course of Montreal's economic reopening, she has been meeting with local merchants "to take the pulse" of how it's unfolding.

"While our courageous entrepreneurs look to the future with enthusiasm and resilience, many of them have pointed out to me the daily challenges they face in ensuring that hygiene and distancing rules are respected in their establishments."

She also said health-care workers' health is at stake. A COVID-19 setback, she wrote, "would be a disaster for human lives and for our economy."

There will be a grace period built into the new rule to allow for people to adjust and become educated, though Plante said "we will not hesitate to crack down on offenders in the long run."

Plante also urged Montrealers to begin wearing masks voluntarily immediately.

"I know that many of you want to get back to your normal lives and enjoy a carefree summer," she wrote. But "it is by following the instructions together that we can protect ourselves against a potential second wave."

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