Council approves recommendation to make masks mandatory

York Regional Council  has endorsed a recommendation from York
Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karim Kurji to issue an instruction requiring operators of
enclosed public spaces in York Region to have a policy in place that prohibits persons from
entering premises of the establishment if the person is not wearing a face mask or covering.

The Regional Municipality of York has endorsed this instruction issued by Dr. Kurji under the
authority of the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as a measure to further
reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our communities. This instruction is directed to commercial
establishments in York Region.

“York Regional Council remains committed to the health and safety of our residents,” said York
Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Businesses open to the public have worked diligently to
prevent the spread of COVID-19. Face masks or coverings will play a key role for the continued
successful re-opening of the economy and to safeguard our residents and visitors.”

Effective July 17, business owners and operators in York Region must have a
policy in place to prohibit people from entering if they are not wearing a face mask or covering
and must place approved York Region signage on the premises.

Outdoor settings and indoor spaces not open to the public are excluded. Additionally, a face mask
or covering is not required at home with immediate family members, while eating on a restaurant
patio or in the workplace where other standards apply, such as the Occupational Health and Safety

“There is growing public health evidence that widespread use of face masks or coverings when used
with other public health recommendations is effective in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr.
Kurji. “This includes physical distancing in public spaces, frequently washing your hands and
staying home when you are sick. We will get through this, but only if everyone does their part to
protect the health and safety of everyone in our communities.”

In both indoor and outdoor settings, face masks or coverings do not represent a substitute for
physical distancing.

This instruction is to be applied in good faith and will be used primarily as an opportunity to
educate people on the use of face masks or coverings, combined with other on-going recommended
public health practices.

The instruction will remain in place until November 30 at 11:59 p.m. and applies to the following establishments:

• Premises or any portion thereof which are used as a place of business for the sale or offering
for sale of goods or services, and includes a mall or similar structure which contains multiple
places of business
• Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other places of worship
• Community centres including indoor recreational facilities
• Libraries, art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos and other similar facilities
• Community service agencies providing services to the public
• Banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spaces
• Premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate
• Common areas of hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators,
meeting rooms or other common use facilities
• Concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos, and other entertainment facilities


The Instruction does not apply to the following premises, even if they would fall under the
definition of an establishment:

• Schools
• Post-secondary institutions
• Child care facilities
• Private and public transportation (YRT has its own by-law)
• Hospitals, independent health facilities
• Offices of regulated health professionals
• Apartment buildings and condominiums, including their common areas
• An area that is not enclosed or indoors (e.g. restaurant patio)

Wearing a face mask or covering when in public or other settings is not a replacement for following
proven measures such as handwashing and physical distancing or at least two-metres.

Learn more about what you need to know as a community member and as a business owner or operator at which includes additional information, resources and signage.

For more information on York Region’s response to COVID-19, visit


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