Burlington city council unanimously approves mandatory mask bylaw

The City of Burlington is the latest municipality to enforce a mandatory mask bylaw that would require people to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces effective Monday, July 20th

Burlington city council unanimously agreed to pass the bylaw that will be in place until September 30th unless its extended by council. 

Individuals and organizations that are responsible for an indoor space that is open to the public must ensure that any member of the public is wearing a face covering while on their premises. 

Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, agrees that physical distancing is sometimes difficult in public indoor spaces, so the implementation of a mask bylaw would help reduce the spread of the virus when people don’t always have space to stay two metres away from each other. 

Public spaces that the bylaw will cover in Burlington include:

  • retail stores
  • convenience stores
  • malls and shopping plazas
  • grocery stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets
  • restaurants, bars
  • indoor recreational facilities
  • libraries
  • community centres
  • community service agencies
  • personal service settings
  • churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and faith settings
  • art galleries, museums
  • banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, and other event spaces
  • common areas in hotels, motels, and short-term rentals
  • entertainment facilities including concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
  • business offices open to the public

Some requirements come into effect after certain public spaces are allowed to reopen in Stage 3 or later. 

Although masks are widely available at stores within Burlington, city council is also working to figure out a plan that could provide them to those who can’t obtain a face covering by other means. 

There are exceptions to when some individuals will be required to wear a mask. Anyone who cannot wear a mask due to physical or medical reasons will not be required to have a face covering. Children under the age of three should never have to wear a mask. 

Members of the public who are eating a meal at a restaurant or participating in athletic activities will be allowed to temporarily remove their mask. Masks are not required in apartment or condo buildings, childcare facilities and schools, and areas that are not enclosed. 

The City of Burlington is asking for patience from the public as it might take time to flatten certain areas of the bylaw, as well as requesting that residents be respectful when coming across others who are not wearing a mask. 

More information about the mandatory mask bylaw is available on the City of Burlington website

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