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Kingston’s new emergency order to limit groups downtown, mandate masks in common areas

Mayor Bryan Paterson has issued a new emergency order in order to curb loitering and enforce masking in common areas of apartment buildings.
Mayor Bryan Paterson has issued a new emergency order in order to curb loitering and enforce masking in common areas of apartment buildings. Kraig Krause / Global News

Kingston, Ont., Mayor Bryan Paterson has issued an emergency order that would limit group sizes and loitering in the downtown area, as well as mandating masks in common areas in apartment or condo buildings.

“Based on recommendations from the medical officer of health, and after consultation with Kingston police, it’s clear that additional measures are needed to better address the risk of COVID-19 spread in the community,” says Mayor Paterson.

Read more: City of Kingston issues emergency order to enforce physical distancing at parks

The new order will require that groups in the downtown core are no larger than 10 people.

Exemptions will apply to groups who belong to the same household or family and in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained, as well as passing of others on the street.

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The emergency order will be enforceable in the specific areas delineated in the map below.

The city’s new emergency order will limit groups to 10 people in the downtown core.
The city’s new emergency order will limit groups to 10 people in the downtown core. City of Kingston

The order will also enforce masking in common areas in any multi-unit residential building, and will require that building owners place signage at all entrances indicating the new mandatory mask policy.

Exemptions include children under 2, those under 5 chronologically or developmentally who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so, those with an underlying medical condition, those who cannot remove a face covering without assistance or who have exemptions under provincial or federal legislation, as well as those who need to remove their masks in order to receive a service or who are engaging in physical activity.

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The city says no one will be required to provide proof of an exemption in order to enter a building.

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In order to enforce the new emergency order, police or bylaw officers will be able to inspect buildings to see if the order is being followed.

Failure to abide by an emergency order could result in a $2,000 fine.

The order is effective as of Friday, according to a City of Kingston news release.