Toronto extends COVID-19 bylaws until the end of September

Masks hang on the door of a shop in Toronto on Saturday, June 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Torontonians will need to continue wearing masks in businesses until the fall after the city approved an extension of its COVID-19 bylaws today.

The city said the bylaws, which were set to expire today, have been extended until the end of council’s meeting on September 30 and October 1, based on a recommendation by Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa.

Wednesday’s decision means residents will need to keep physically distancing in city parks or public squares and will be required to continue wearing masks or face coverings in common areas of businesses, apartments and condominiums.

As well, apartment buildings in the city will need to keep non-essential common areas like gyms and pools closed while continuing to offer up hand hygiene stations and public health signage.

Food and drink establishments will also need to keep COVID-19 signage, capacity and table limits in place while also maintaining accurate customer logs.

“We continue to use the data to inform our decisions and today’s step is no different. COVID-19 numbers are decreasing, but it remains a significant concern and we need to continue our efforts to reduce and limit virus spread,” de Villa said in a news release.

According to the city, more than 72.3 per cent of the city’s adult population has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than 10 percent have received both first and second shots.

However, the city said the impact of COVID-19 continues in Toronto with variants of concern increasing both the risk of transmission and serious illness or death.

Also approved Wednesday is a recommendation by de Villa to conduct a monthly assessment on the spread and impacts of COVID-19 should the bylaws need to end, be extended or amended.

The bylaws have now been in effect for more than a year and anyone caught breaking the rules could face a hefty fine upwards of $750.