Ontario Premier Doug Ford will not mandate face masks but said that he “highly recommends” wearing one in stores after a COVID-19 outbreak was confirmed at a Home Depot location in the GTA.
On Tuesday, Ford said he wanted to work with retailers, saying, “I highly, highly recommend wearing a face mask or covering of some sort.”
The premier added that he thinks it’s a good policy for some retailers to make it mandatory for customers to wear a mask.
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“That’s a good policy, to not allow in customers if they don’t have a mask.”
Health Minister Christine Elliot confirmed that face masks are not mandatory but are recommended for people to wear when physical distancing is not possible, like on the subway or in retail stores.
Last week, it was announced the TTC will likely mandate face coverings for riders.
“Physical distancing is still the most important rule to follow and if not possible, then masks are needed,” Elliot said.
“It’s not mandatory but it is recommended.”
Earlier on Tuesday, York Region Public Health (YRPH) said they are investigating after 14 employees at a Home Depot in Richmond Hill were confirmed to have COVID-19.
Ford said that he reached out to the president of Home Depot to see if the retailer needed any assistance from the province.