Waterloo Region residents may be legally required to wear masks until the end of 2021.
A staff report that will go before council on Tuesday recommends that the current face-covering and code-of-use bylaws, which are slated to expire at the end of May, be extended until the end of the year.
The report notes that several of the initial criteria for the mask bylaw have not been met.
One of those criteria was an improvement in the state of the COVID-19 situation, not only locally but also provincially and globally.
“COVID-19 remains a significant risk locally and provincially,” the report notes. “A third wave has emerged provincially and locally and is being driven by variants of concern.”
Other criteria include advice from public health officials regarding the wearing of face coverings or change in evidence on the wearing of masks as well as the availability of an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.
“Vaccine supply, initially limited, will continue to increase and the final phase, in which supply will be sufficient for most of the general population to receive a first as well as a second dose (as applicable), will take place between July and December 2021,” the report says.
It also notes that public complaints and enforcement levels have dropped, which suggests a “growing public familiarity of, and receptivity to the By-Laws.”View link »