Face masks now mandatory in Toronto condos and apartments

Aug 5 2020, 8:21 pm

Face masks are now mandatory to wear in Toronto condominiums and apartments, as enhanced safety measures for food and drink establishments also come into effect.

Last week, Toronto city council voted in favour of a new temporary bylaw that requires masks or face coverings to be worn in common areas in apartments and condominiums.

“We have taken these steps, based on public health advice, to keep our communities safe. I know the vast majority of Toronto residents are committed to following these rules and all the public health advice to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Mayor John Tory said.

“We’ve come a long way in our fight against this virus and these are important actions to help keep Toronto on track as we reopen and get back to enjoying our vibrant city.”

According to the city, under the new bylaw for apartments and condos, building owners are required to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in common spaces, like lobbies, elevators, and laundry rooms.

They are also supposed to post signage on face masks use.

Like the city’s mask or face covering bylaw for indoor public spaces, this bylaw includes exemptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other health accommodations.

In food and drink establishments, new requirements to protect the health and safety of restaurant customers have come into effect that includes the following:

  • Ensuring all customers remain seated at all times except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or paying
  • Separating tables by at least two metres
  • Maintaining customer logs that include the name(s) and contact information for each party
  • Keeping customer logs for 30 days, providing logs to Toronto Public Health upon request for contact tracing purposes, and securely discarding after 30 days
  • Posting signage at all entrances to the premises to identify the necessity of keeping customer logs for contact tracing purposes
  • Establishing staff screening protocols
  • Limiting indoor capacity in restaurants and bars to a maximum of 100 people indoors (provided physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Limiting the number of customers who may be seated at the same table, to a maximum of 10 customers per table

The new requirements for bars and restaurants are to be implemented through temporary provisions under the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing.

“Many restaurants and bars have been following these new measures since Stage 3 began last Friday and the City thanks them for their ongoing cooperation,” the statement says.

Adding that when it comes to enforcing the policies, the city remains focused on providing education instead of fines or tickets.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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