toronto mask bylaw

Toronto wants to extend its mandatory mask bylaw until this summer

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on Toronto with no clear end in sight, the city is moving to extend a number of municipal bylaws until the summer in an effort to protect public health.

The city's mandatory mask bylaw, physical distancing in parks and squares bylaw, and bylaw requiring masks to be worn in the common areas of residential buildings are all set to expire at the end of the Feb. 2 and 3 city council meeting, but Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa is recommending they be extended until at least June.

The report, set to go before city council at next week's meeting, can be found online, and it refers to these bylaws a "a temporary and necessary response to the ongoing pandemic."

If approved, the three bylaws will be extended until city council's meeting scheduled for June 8 and 9. 

In addition to the bylaw extensions, the report also recommends that de Villa continue to conduct a monthly assessment regarding the need to continue each bylaw, and she may then report to city council to reccomend 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," said Mayor John Tory in a statement

"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," he continued. 

"Thank you to everyone who continues to follow the public health advice. 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."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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