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City of London reminds residents and business operators of requirements under the Mandatory Face Coverings By-law
As we continue the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 in London, the City is reminding residents and business owners and operators of the requirements under the temporary Mandatory Face Coverings By-law. With some exceptions, anyone including customers, visitors and staff, entering an indoor public space is required to wear a mask or face covering while inside. Business owners or operators of enclosed public spaces are also required under the by-law to post visible signs which indicate the face covering by-law requirement. Business owners or operators can download the notice poster with specific messaging required as per the by-law from the City’s website to post in a visible location.
The Mandatory Face Coverings By-law came into effect on July 21following City Council approval, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Since then, Municipal By-Law Enforcement Officers have taken a proactive education enforcement approach to the by-law, visiting large and small businesses across to provide education to business operators and the public. Officers have attended over 1500 businesses and spoken to approximately 80 individuals not wearing a face covering while indoors.
Municipal Law Enforcement Officers will continue to provide education about the by-law. The City of London has also now received approval for a set fine of $500. The fine may be applied to individuals, either customers or employees, not wearing a face covering or mask, or to businesses that do not have proper signage displayed. “We’ve been very fortunate to see a high level of compliance during our visits to businesses across the city and in speaking with Londoners,” says Orest Katolyk, Chief By-Law Enforcement Officer. “We hope to see the continued compliance. With the approval of a set fine, officers have the discretion to now also issue fines when necessary.
” Masks and face coverings can include a conventional mask or a face covering such as a bandana, scarf, cloth or similar item that covers the nose, mouth and chin without gapping. Exemptions to the by-law include those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children under the age of 12, and other accommodations under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Residents are not required to show proof of exemption from the wearing a mask or face covering under the by-law. The by-law also permits the temporary removal of a mask or face covering when receiving services, having a meal, or engaging in athletic or fitness activity. Full details on further exemptions are available in the by-law. This temporary by-law is an additional health measure to reduce the risk of further COVID-19 infections as additional businesses and services begin to reopen in the community.
Residents are reminded that wearing a face covering does not replace other health measures that remain important such as proper hand washing or sanitizing and practicing physical distancing and keeping two-metre distance even when wearing a mask. Wearing a face covering is an additional measure to stop the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the spread of any infectious respiratory droplets, should an individual be unknowingly infected.