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Masks and Face Coverings

Provincial regulations mandate the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings, including businesses, facilities and workplaces.

 

Where are face coverings required in London and Middlesex County?

Face coverings are mandated in all public indoor settings within Ontario, such as businesses, facilities, and workplaces with limited exemptions, as per provincial legislation and regulations.


What is a face covering?

*New Recommendation* Non-medical masks or face coverings ideally should be made of at least three layers: two layers should be tightly woven material fabric (e.g. cotton or linen) and the middle layer should be a filter-type fabric (e.g. non-woven polypropylene fabric, disposable filter, folded paper towel). Learn more →

Non-medical masks or face coverings should:

  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material (such as cotton or linen)
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

NOTE: Face shields do not replace face coverings. Face shields may provide an additional layer of protection, but they should not be used in place of face coverings.


Who is exempt?

According to provincial legislation and regulations, a person is exempt from wearing a mask or face covering while in a public indoor area if they:

  • are a child who is younger than two years of age;
  • are attending a school or private school within the meaning of the Education Act that is operated in accordance with a return to school direction issued by the Ministry of Education and approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
  • are attending a child care program at a place that is in compliance with the child care re-opening guidance issued by the Ministry of Education;
  • are receiving residential services and supports in a residence listed in the definition of "residential services and supports" in subsection 4 (2) of the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008;
  • are in a correctional institution or in a custody and detention program for young persons in conflict with the law;
  • performing or rehearsing in a film or television production or in a concert, artistic event, theatrical performance, or other performance;
  • have a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
  • are unable to put on or remove their mask or face covering without the assistance of another person;
  • need to temporarily remove their mask or face covering while in the indoor area,
    • to receive services that require the removal of their mask or face covering,
    • to engage in an athletic or fitness activity,
    • to consume food or drink, or
    • as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety;
  • are being accommodated in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
  • are being reasonably accommodated in accordance with the Human Rights Code; or
  • perform work for the business or organization, are in an area that is not accessible to members of the public and are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person while in the indoor area.

NOTE: There is no requirement for anyone to provide proof of exemption.

 

How to Wear a Mask

Make sure to properly wear, fit, remove, and clean or discard your non-medical mask or face covering. For more details, see the Public Health Agency of Canada's COVID-19: How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering (do's and don'ts list) or watch the Government of Canada's video.  The Government of Ontario also has instructions for Face coverings and face masks.

The use of a non-medical mask or other face covering will not protect you from getting COVID-19, but it may reduce the spread of your infectious respiratory droplets, should you be unknowingly infected.

 

Images showing steps to how to wear a mask

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers
1) Where are face coverings mandatory in London and Middlesex County? 2) What is a face covering?
3) Does someone need to prove they are exempt from wearing a face covering? 4) What steps can Operators of enclosed public spaces and their employees take to comply with the masking requirements?
5) Do businesses, organizations, or public transit operators need to provide face coverings to members of the public entering the premises who don't have a face covering? 6) Are face coverings required while in a gym or fitness centre?
7) Are face coverings required in the common areas of apartment buildings and condominiums (e.g. lobby, laundry room)? 8) Are face coverings required in the common areas of congregate living settings, including long-term care homes and retirement homes?
9) Are face coverings required within childcare centres and day camps?  

1) Where are face coverings mandatory in London and Middlesex County?

Face coverings are mandated in all public indoor settings within Ontario, such as businesses, facilities, and workplaces with limited exemptions, as per the O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Step 3

2) What is a face covering?

*New Recommendation* Non-medical masks or face coverings ideally should be made of at least three layers: two layers should be tightly woven material fabric (e.g. cotton or linen) and the middle layer should be a filter-type fabric (e.g. non-woven polypropylene fabric, disposable filter, folded paper towel). Learn more →

Non-medical masks or face coverings should:

  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material (such as cotton or linen)
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

 

NOTE: Face shields do not replace face coverings. Face shields may provide an additional layer of protection, but they should not be used in place of face coverings.

3) Does someone need to prove they are exempt from wearing a face covering?

There is no requirement for anyone to provide proof of an exemption from wearing a face covering as required under the O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Step 3

4) What steps can Operators of enclosed public spaces and their employees take to comply with masking requirements?
  • Post visible signage indicating that face coverings are required the entire time inside the premises.
  • Verbally remind customers or patrons not wearing a mask that a mask is required while inside the premises.
5) Do businesses, organizations, or public transit operators need to provide face coverings to members of the public entering the premises who don't have a face covering?

No, businesses, organizations, or public transit are not required to provide face coverings to members of the public entering the premises or riding in the vehicles.

6) Are face coverings required while in a gym or fitness centre?

Masks or face coverings are required while in all indoor public spaces as per the  O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Step 3; this includes indoor gyms and fitness facilities. You are permitted, through exemptions, to temporarily remove your face covering while actively engaged in an athletic or fitness activity. Through a Section 22 Class Order issued on behalf of the Health Unit, the instructor of any class, organized program or organized activity must wear a face covering or provide the instruction virtually. Learn more →

7) Are face coverings required in the common areas of apartment buildings and condominiums (e.g. lobby, laundry room)?

Yes, the O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 requires individuals who are not otherwise exempt to wear face coverings in common areas where physical distancing of at least two metres cannot be maintained.

8) Are face coverings required in the common areas of congregate living settings, including long-term care homes and retirement homes?

The use of surgical/procedural masks by employees and visitors while inside long-term care homes and retirement homes is required as per Directive #5 and Directive #3.

9) Are face coverings required within childcare centres and day camps?

As of September 1, 2020, all adults in a child care setting are required to wear a medical mask and eye protection (i.e., face shield or goggles) while inside the child care centre premises, including hallways. Children in grades 1 and above are required to use non-medical masks and/or cloth masks and all school-aged children are encouraged but not required to wear masks. No child under the age of 2 should wear a mask or face covering.

Centre operators are encouraged to consider alternate work arrangements for staff members who cannot wear a mask.

 
Date of creation: July 17, 2020
Last modified on: July 19, 2021