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Coronavirus: Face masks or coverings now mandatory in Toronto’s indoor public settings

Masks mandated in Ottawa, Toronto indoor public spaces
WATCH ABOVE: Masks mandated in Ottawa, Toronto indoor public spaces

A Toronto bylaw requiring residents to wear face masks or coverings while in indoor public settings came into effect Tuesday morning.

According to the City of Toronto, all people in indoor settings are required to wear a mask except for children under the age of two, people with certain medical conditions and staff in certain private areas or areas shielded by a physical barrier. Residents aren’t required to show proof if they require a medical exemption.

Establishment operators were required to create and advertise a mask policy for staff and customers. Signs were ordered to be posted at all entrances.

How will the City of Toronto enforce mandatory masks?
How will the City of Toronto enforce mandatory masks?

Read more: Toronto council votes to make wearing face masks mandatory in closed public settings

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The bylaw will apply to any public or private property allowed to open under the Ontario government’s reopening plan and are openly accessible, including retail stores, malls, grocery stores, restaurants, gyms and recreational facilities.

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People are allowed to temporarily remove a mask for an activity such as eating or drinking, or while participating in a sanctioned physical activity.

Coronavirus: Masks set to be mandatory at indoor public places in Toronto
Coronavirus: Masks set to be mandatory at indoor public places in Toronto

If convicted of violating the bylaw, the fine is $1,000 per offence.

Tuesday morning, a small group of about 40 protesters who are anti-mask walked through downtown Toronto, and boarded a TTC subway car without donning masks.

The group first gathered together at Yonge-Dundas Square and got on the TTC car at Dundas Station. Some were wearing shirts that said, “Hugs over masks,” while others talked through megaphones about “informed decision making” and “freedom of choice.”

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READ MORE: Face masks or coverings now mandatory on TTC

Peel and Durham region are set to require face masks or coverings in indoor public settings in the coming days.

The measure could be in place until the end of September when Toronto city council could then vote on a possible extension.

According to the Toronto Public Health (TPH) website early Tuesday, there were 729 active cases and 12,844 resolved cases of COVID-19. TPH also reported 1,105 people died after contracting the virus. Of the 160 residents currently in hospital, 40 were being treated in ICU.