The City of Toronto is recommending the extension of COVID-19 bylaws like mandatory mask wearing and physical distancing, until June when it will be reviewed again.
On Thursday, the city said Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health is recommending the extension of the city’s COVID-19 temporary bylaws until City Council’s June meeting, which includes:
- The Physical Distancing in Public Spaces bylaws (322-2020 and 323-2020)
- The Mandatory Mask bylaws (541-2020 as amended by 664-2020)
- COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings and the COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 545, Licensing
The City also noted that in addition to these bylaw extensions, the Medical Officer of Health should continue to conduct a monthly assessment regarding the need to continue each bylaw. Based on this assessment, the Medical Officer of Health may report to City Council to recommend ending, extending or amending these bylaws before the expiry date.
“We took action, based on public health advice, to implement the mandatory mask bylaw and others last year to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our city. Once again, our public health officials have made it clear these measures need to be extended in order to keep up our fight against the virus. Thank you to everyone who continues to follow the public health advice,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.
“This is the right thing to do. Your actions, wearing a mask, keeping your distance from others, avoiding gatherings with people outside your household, and washing your hands, will help keep you healthy, protect your family and loved ones, and help save lives.”
In addition, the new COVID-19 variants continue to be of concern due to their high transmission rates. Therefore following public health measures remains a priority for the city and province.
“At this critical stage in our fight against COVID-19, we must use every tool we have to keep one another safe. Right now, that includes extending the City of Toronto bylaws mandating mask usage and physical distancing requirements. While I know we all want this period to be over, these measures will help us continue to protect ourselves and others at a time when it’s more important than ever,” Councillor Joe Cressy and Chair of the Toronto Board of Health said.
The report of recommendations will be considered at next week’s meeting.