City Council voted on Wednesday to extend Toronto’s Mandatory Mask By-Law for another four months.
The temporary by-law, which requires every person to wear a mask or face covering in all indoor public settings and common areas in multi-residential buildings, was set to expire at the end of Wednesday’s council meeting.
Following the vote, the by-law is now extended until the end of City Council’s June 8 and 9, 2021 meeting.
“We are committed to doing everything we can as a City government to fight COVID-19 and help save lives during the pandemic,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.
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According to Tory, the decision to extend the mask mandate was based on “public health advice to help stop the spread of the virus.”
“Toronto Public Health has made it clear these bylaws should be extended to encourage people to continue to follow public health measures that will help keep them safe over the coming months,” he said.
Councillor Joe Cressy, chair of the Toronto Board of Health, supported the extension of the Toronto face mask by-law, citing face masks as an important tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“Right now, we must use every tool we have to keep one another safe from COVID-19 and the highly-transmissible new variants,” Cressy said. “That includes extending the City of Toronto bylaws mandating mask usage and physical distancing requirements.”
Cressy also acknowledged the widespread desire for a return to normalcy and emphasized that face masks are part of the solution that will get us there.
“While I know we all want this period to be over, these public health measures will help us continue to protect ourselves and others at a time when it’s more important than ever,” he said.
City Council will re-assess the COVID-19 pandemic and decide on any further extensions of the mask mandate at their June meeting.