MEDIA RELEASE: Masks to be Mandatory in the Town of Caledon

Following today’s Town Council meeting, a by-law was passed stating that masks will be mandatory in all indoor public spaces in the Town of Caledon, starting July 10, 2020. This follows the Region of Peel’s announcement last week that steps were being taken to make face coverings mandatory in the Region, to help further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s extremely important that we continue to follow the guidelines of public health officials and wear non-medial masks while inside a public venue,” said Mayor Allan Thompson. “Wearing a mask is just one way for us to keep ourselves and our families safe. Continue to follow the ‘Core Four’ - wear a mask, stay two metres apart, wash your hands often, and if sick, get tested and stay at home. Together we can stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Masks include:

  • Disposable or fabric masks
  • Bandanas
  • Scarfs
  • Or similar items which are fitted to completely cover the mouth, nose and chin of a wearer without gapping

Masks must be put on properly before entering and while inside any public establishment, when using a transit vehicle such as a bus or while riding in a taxi  licensed by the Town. People that are exempt from wearing a mask include:

  • Children under the age of two
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or has a medical condition
  • Those who cannot remove a mask without assistance

With some exceptions available to residents, the Town asks both residents and establishment owners to use caution and kindness when asking why some people are not wearing masks.

“While enforcement measures are available to the Town, we want to stress that we are relying on our residents to understand the importance of covering your face in public indoor spaces,” continued Mayor Thompson. “Whether you are going shopping, going to work in and around the GTA, or to places of worship, we are counting on everyone to continue doing their part.”

For more information:

-30-

Media Contact:
Town of Caledon | Strategic Initiatives | Communications
905.584.2272 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | www.caledon.ca | @YourCaledon

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What qualifies as a “face covering” or a mask?

A face covering is a mask, bandana or scarf made of cloth, linen or other similar fabric that fits securely to the head and is large enough to completely and comfortably cover the mouth, nose and chin without gaping.  Medical masks such as those used by healthcare workers (e.g. surgical masks, N95 masks) are acceptable but not mandatory.

Who has to wear a mask?

Everyone has to wear a face covering before entering a public establishment AND while they are inside except where noted below. As well, masks are required while on public transit or in a taxi or limousine.

The following people do NOT have to wear a mask:

  • Children two years of age or younger;
  • Children between the ages of three and five who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
  • People who have trouble breathing or are otherwise unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons or for reason of disability, including people who are unable to remove masks without assistance;
  • People who are eating or drinking in businesses that are permitted to operate under the Emergency Order;
  • People who are receiving services involving the face (e.g. spa/salon) provided such services are permitted under the Emergency Order and physical distancing is maintained;
  • People who are engaged in an athletic, fitness or aquatic activity in accordance with the Emergency Orders;
  • Police, fire, or paramedics during the course of an emergency call; and
  • Employees and agents of the Operator or Municipality within an area that is not open for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.

What is a “public establishment”?

A public establishment includes the following:

  • Retail stores where goods and services are sold to customers;
  • Businesses that primarily sell food including restaurants, supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries and convenience stores;
  • Churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and other places of worship, except during a religious rite or ceremony that is incompatible with the face being covered;
  • Indoor sports and recreational facilities and clubhouses;
  • Shopping malls or similar structure which contains multiple places of business;
  • Businesses providing personal care services;
  • Common areas of hotels and motels and other short-term accommodations, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities but does not include the common areas of residential apartment buildings and condominiums;
  • Libraries, museums, galleries and other similar facilities;
  • Banquet halls, conventions centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces;
  • Concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos and other entertainment establishments;
  • Premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes;
  • Buildings owned and operated by the Municipality; and
  • Other businesses, organizations and places that are permitted to operate in accordance with the Emergency Orders.

Are there any exemptions to the by-law?

The following are NOT considered “public establishments”:

  • Day cares, schools, post-secondary institutions and other facilities used solely for educational purposes;
  • School transportation vehicles;
  • Hospitals and portions of buildings used by regulated health professionals;
  • Buildings and services owned or operated by the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government of Canada;
  • Portions of community centres, arenas or other buildings that are being used for the purpose of providing day camps for children or for the training of amateur or professional athletes; and
  • Portions of community centres, arenas or other buildings owned or operated by the Municipality used for the purposes of providing community services or programs for which registration is required.

I see people not wearing a mask indoors. What should I do?

We all have to do our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus and that includes wearing masks in indoor public spaces. The pandemic is causing considerable disruption to our lives, to the economy, to our usual routines...and many people are experiencing hardship due to job loss, social isolation, and other factors. It is in everyone’s best interest to remember that “we are all in this together” and to treat one another with kindness and respect.

Having said that, owners/operators do have a duty to ensure that they have a policy in place and that there is visible signage so their customers or patrons are aware of, and comply with, the requirement to wear masks.

For more information on the by-law, call the Town of Caledon at 905-584-2272.

As a business, am I required to ensure customers are wearing masks?

All public establishments not exempt from the face covering by-law are required to have a policy in place that outlines how the establishment and its patrons will be in compliance. The Town of Caledon will be providing a template policy for any establishment to use to help make the transition to the new by-law requirements as easy as possible.

Are there penalties for not wearing a mask in public indoor spaces?

It is very important that those that can wear a mask/face covering do so in public indoor places.  Our preferred approach to those not in compliance is to educate them on the importance of the new temporary by-law. If necessary the Town can issue orders to anyone not in compliance to either leave the premises or put a mask on. If someone is charged under this by-law, fines from $500 up to $100,000 can be levied. (For more information view the full version of the by-law at www.caledon.ca/by-laws.)

When does the by-law come into effect?

Masks are mandatory in the Town of Caledon starting July 10. By July 15 owners or operators of public establishments must have a policy in place and clear signage at entrances.

How long will this by-law be in place?

This by-law shall remain in effect until 12:01a.m. on October 1, 2020 at which time it shall be repealed, unless extended or repealed by a resolution of Council on the advice of the Medical Officer of Health.

 

“This message (and any associated files) is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The content of the message is the property of the Corporation of the Town of Caledon. The message may contain information that is privileged, confidential, subject to copyright and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or modification of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately, advising of the error and delete this message without making a copy. (Information related to this email is automatically monitored and recorded and the content may be required to be disclosed by the Town to a third party in certain circumstances). Thank you.”