BY: Surjit Singh Flora
Masks will be mandatory in most indoor public spaces in Mississauga and Brampton starting Friday, July 10.
The new bylaw, ratified at council’s July 8 meeting and does include some exemptions, will take effect July 10. The bylaw requires securely fastened face coverings that fully cover the face, including the mouth, nose and chin. Plastic or Plexiglass face shields do not qualify.
Children under the age of two and those unable to wear masks for medical reasons are among the exemptions, along with daycares, school buses, classrooms and kids’ day camps.
“There is going to be reasonableness because we know young children will not be covered by that bylaw,” Mayor Patrick Brown and Mayor Bonnie Crombie said during a press conference on July 8. “Individuals and businesses not adhering to these bylaws may be fined a minimum of $500 and a maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence.
While both city Brampton city mayors Brown and Mississauga city mayor Crombie listed the following indoor spaces, which will require mandatory mask-wearing as of Friday, July 10:
Retail and convenience stores, restaurants and bars (indoors) and Supermarkets
In Mississauga, visits to indoor spaces open to the public – including stores, malls and fitness facilities, hair and nail salons – individuals will be required to wear masks unless they’re exempt for age or health reasons.
Masks will also be required inside taxis, municipal buildings such as libraries and places of worship, except during religious ceremonies that are “incompatible with face covering,” according to a city staff presentation.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie said the move was a precautionary measure to help avoid another wave of COVID-19.
“We have businesses that are open,” she said. “We want to ensure that they stay open.”
While council supported a one-week grace period after July 10, when fines for non-compliance begins.
“So, there are serious fines. This is not just a warning or a strong recommendation. This is for mandatory masks.” Brown added.
Also, Brampton mayor Brown said the city would be distributing 1,000,000 masks through various sources to help facilitate compliance with the new bylaw.
“The virus is not gone,” said Peel Regional Chair Nando Iannicca. “We must continue to stop its spread, and masks will help us do just that.” The Region is continuing to reinforce critical procedures, including physical distancing, handwashing, getting tested and staying home if sick, and representatives from the Region. That said Tuesday, more consistent use of non-medical masks by all residents in public spaces would help drive down cases in the community.
Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton said “As we’ve heard from our public health officials, mandatory masks are an integral part of stopping the spread of COVID-19. To continue to move beyond this virus, we are ready to take all necessary precautions and it is why the City will be distributing one million non-medical masks to Brampton residents. I am encouraged by the collective approach to mask-wearing across the GTA, and know that our residents in Brampton will continue to do their part in prioritizing and protecting the community’s health and safety.”
-Martin Medeiros, Regional Councillor, Wards 3 & 4; Lead, Mayor’s Reopening and Recovery Working Group, City of Brampton said, “We have seen the results of our community’s efforts as our City progressed to Stage 2 of the province’s reopening. This hard work must continue. We can move forward on our path to recovery by following the advice of our local health experts on actions such as the mandatory use of non-medical masks in indoor spaces.”