Toronto is officially extending its COVID-19 bylaws until September.
Even as Ontario begins Step 1 of its reopening plan on Friday and the province’s vaccine rollout ramps up, COVID-19 bylaws such as mandatory mask-wearing in public places and physical distancing will remain in effect.
Toronto City Council approved the extension of the bylaws that were set to expire on Wednesday.
More than 72% of Toronto’s adult population has now received their first dose of a vaccine, and 10% has received a second dose, but the “impact of COVID-19 continues in Toronto with variants of concern increasing both the risk of transmission and serious illness or death,” the City said in a press release.
“Extending the City’s COVID-19 bylaws will help mitigate the risk of virus transmission through proven public health measures including physical distancing and wearing a mask or face covering.”
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The following bylaws will be extended:
• Bylaws 322-2020 and 323-2020, which regulate physical distancing in City parks and public squares.
• Bylaw 541-2020, which requires people to wear masks or face coverings in common areas of businesses, apartments and condominiums.
• Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, which regulates apartment building standards, and includes temporary amendments such as the need for mandatory hand hygiene stations and public health signage, increased cleaning protocols and the closure of non-essential common areas.
• Chapter 545, Licensing, specifically temporary amendments that require food and drink establishments to implement measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (i.e. through signage, capacity and table limits, etc.) and maintain customer logs.
Ontario reported 411 new COVID-19 cases and 33 more deaths Wednesday. To date, Ontario has seen 537,487 total COVID-19 cases and 8,920 deaths.