Ottawa's mandatory mask bylaw extended until Aug. 26

·1 min read
Masks will continue to be required aboard transit and in other enclosed public spaces until at least Aug. 26, Ottawa city council decided Wednesday. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)
Masks will continue to be required aboard transit and in other enclosed public spaces until at least Aug. 26, Ottawa city council decided Wednesday. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)

Ottawa residents will have to continue covering their mouths and noses in public indoor areas until at least Aug. 26, council decided Wednesday.

The decision to extend the city's mask bylaw applies to indoor areas such as stores and pickup counters, as well as lobbies and corridors of residential buildings and office towers. Transit users must also wear masks while riding or waiting for the bus or train.

Very young children and adults with medical conditions are exempt from the bylaw.

The bylaw is temporary, but has been extended several times since it was first enacted last July.

Since the municipal rule requiring masks came into effect, Ontario has instituted its own provincewide regulations. The City of Ottawa opted to keep its own local law in place as a precaution, should the provincial one be repealed first.

There's no indication that's about to happen any time soon, especially given the four-week stay-at-home order.

"We're in a public health emergency. Things are not going the right way," said Anthony Di Monte, the city's general manager in charge of bylaw and the vaccination rollout.

Di Monte said a news conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday will include new and "sombre" data about the state of COVID-19 in Ottawa.