On October 5, 2020, the Government of Ontario implemented new provincial requirements for the use of mask or face covering by a person in the indoor area of the business or organizations. These new restrictions are in addition to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health’s Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020.
The entire regulation can be found here: O. Reg 364/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario [A Flexible Response to COVID-19] Act, 2020). We have outlined some important exemptions below:
According to Subsection 4 in the regulation, the person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall ensure that any person in the indoor area of the premises of the business or organization, or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization, wears a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin during any period when they are in the indoor area, unless the person:
- performs work for the business or organization, and is in an area that is not accessible to members of the public and is able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person while in the indoor area or the employee or agent is within or behind a physical barrier.
- is performing or rehearsing in a film or television production or in a concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance;
- is attending a school or private school within the meaning of the Education Act that is operated in accordance with a return to school direction issued by the Ministry of Education and approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
- is attending a child care program at a place that is in compliance with the child care re-opening guidance issued by the Ministry of Education;
- is receiving residential services and supports in a residence listed in the definition of “residential services and supports” in subsection 4 (2) of the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008;
- is in a correctional institution or in a custody and detention program for young persons in conflict with the law;
- is a child who is younger than two years of age;
- has a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
- needs to temporarily remove their mask or face covering while in the indoor area,
- (i) to receive services that require the removal of their mask or face covering,
- (ii) to engage in an athletic or fitness activity,
- (iii) to consume food or drink, or
- (iv) as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety;
- is being accommodated in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005;
- is unable to put on or remove their mask or face covering without the assistance of another person;
- is being reasonably accommodated in accordance with the Human Rights Code.
Subsection (4) does not apply with respect to premises that are used as a dwelling if the person responsible for the business or organization ensures that persons in the premises who are not entitled to an exception set out in subsection (4) wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin in any common areas of the premises in which persons are unable to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other persons.
It is not necessary for a person to present evidence to the person responsible for a business or place that they are entitled to any of the exceptions set out in subsection (4).
Workplaces and employees who have questions about the new restrictions can visit the Health Unit’s website https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/face-coverings-masks/ for more information or can call 1-800-660-5853. You can also get important updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.