Masks made mandatory to early 2021

·1 min read

People in Ottawa will be required to wear masks in public spaces and on transit until at least early 2021 after city council voted to extend the temporary mandatory mask bylaw Wednesday morning.

Council first approved the temporary bylaw last July at the recommendation of the medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. It called for most people to wear masks on OC Transpo vehicles and in transit stations, as well as any indoor public spaces including retail stores.

The bylaw is temporary in nature, and was renewed once in August when council extended mandatory mask wearing to the lobbies, elevators and hallways of apartment and condo buildings. The bylaw was set to expire Sunday.

Council has extended the bylaw until the first council meeting of the new year, during which councillors may vote to extend it further, which is what Mayor Jim Watson said he expects will happen.

City bylaw officers have responded to 1,600 complaints about people not wearing masks, and have issues 64 charges in recent weeks.

People with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, children under two and people who require accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code do not have to wear masks.