Coronavirus | Ontario

Ottawa and Waterloo mandate face coverings in public places

July 7, 2020

More regions across the province are introducing by-laws outlining how retailers are expected to very quickly comply with new regulations requiring wearing face coverings in public spaces. In the last 24 hours both Ottawa and Waterloo have instituted new mandates, with Ottawa providing its businesses only 8 hours notice to implement new measures.

The new regulations come into effect in Ottawa on July 7, 2020 and in Waterloo on July 13, 2020. RCC has summarized face mask requirements by region.


Statement by RCC on City of Ottawa’s one-day notice period for mask directive

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is concerned that the City of Ottawa and other municipalities are giving local retailers very little time to prepare for a directive that makes masks mandatory within all indoor public settings, including retail environments. While we understand that the universality of wearing a mask or face covering can improve health outcomes, with no advance notice, there is little time to prepare and implement, particularly for small and medium size merchants.

RCC has been working diligently with those municipalities across Ontario that have started to require masks or face coverings be worn inside retail stores and shopping malls. On behalf of our members, we have been advocating for a harmonized approach based on the following ‘best effort’ standards.

  • Post visible signage indicating that face coverings are required inside the establishment.
  • When possible, provide customers with a verbal reminder that wearing a face covering is required upon entering the store.
  • Provide a verbal reminder to customers seen removing their face covering while in the store.

Appropriate measures should be put in place by municipalities to ensure citizens comply with any requirements.

The retail industry continues to work closely with all levels of government and health agencies to ensure the health, safety and security of all employees, consumers and citizens. We are stronger together. Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada

View updated information on mask requirements for retailers.

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