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City of Mississauga mask bylaw remains in place even as provincial mandate lifts

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The City of Mississauga has issued a reminder that masks still need to be worn in indoor public settings in the municipality even as the provincial mandate has lifted.

The City posted a tweet Monday morning that read, “Do you need to wear a mask in Mississauga today? Yes you do.”

Officials said the municipal bylaw for masking remains in effect until March 31.

City Council will make a decision on Wednesday on whether to lift the mandatory mask bylaw early, officials noted.

“I do anticipate the decision will be to align with the province and lift the mandate,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in a statement.

This means the mask bylaw could officially be dropped earlier, on Wednesday.

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Read more: Ontario COVID-19 mask mandate lifts for most settings

“Given some administrative requirements, this decision to alter/remove a by-law has to be made at a City Council meeting, and the first planned one following the Province’s announcement on changes to masking requirements is March 23,” the City of Mississauga told Global News in a statement.

Some cities and regions opted for their own mask mandate under a Section 22 order of the health act in 2020 through their medical officers of health. Others voted on it in council before the province had mandated the use of masking. Some regions had re-extended the masking mandate in the winter for months in advance.

On Monday, the Ford government’s mask mandate dropped for places such as retail and restaurants among other establishments, meaning Ontarians are no longer required — by the province — to wear a mask or face covering. Masks are now optional or a choice.

However, the province did make exceptions for certain settings such as public transit, long-term care, retirement homes, shelters, jails and other congregate living and health-care settings. The provincial mandate in those settings will come to an end on April 27.

Read more: Ontario lifts mask mandate in most settings March 21, all directives to drop by April 27

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The City of Mississauga also told Global News it wouldn’t be proactively enforcing the mandate given the current circumstances.

“Regarding fines and enforcement, we will respond to any complaints, as we have done throughout the pandemic, but will not be proactively enforcing the mandatory mask by-law given the current circumstances,” the statement read. “Where possible, we always opt to educate-first before fines are issued.”

The mask bylaw also doesn’t apply to schools or federal/provincial buildings, the City said.

Meanwhile, Brampton which is also in Peel Region, has lifted the mask mandate. As well, Toronto lifted its municipal mandate for masking to be in line with the province.

Halton and York regions are also following the province’s guidance.

— With files from Global News’ Isaac Callan

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