Niagara Regional Council approved a by-law making it mandatory to wear a face covering or non-medical mask in enclosed public places as of 12:01 am on July 31, 2020. The by-law aligns with face covering orders issued by the province under the Reopening Ontario Act. The by-law will automatically expire when those Provincial requirements are no longer in effect.
Face masks are also required at many outdoor attractions, including Niagara Parks attractions, and recommended when physical distancing isn't possible outdoors.
The by-law applies to the following enclosed indoor places:
- Common areas of hotels and motels and other short term accommodations, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities but does not include the common areas of residential apartment buildings or condominiums
- Arcades and other amusement facilities
- Retail stores where goods and services are sold to customers
- Businesses that primarily sell food including restaurants (masks can be removed while seated at your table)
- Museums, galleries, historic sites and similar attractions
- Shopping malls or similar structures which contain multiple places of business
- Public transit operated by the Niagara Region and local area municipalities
- Lobby areas of commercial buildings
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
- Fitness centres, gyms, other recreational and sports facilities and clubhouses
- Premises utilized as an open house, presentation centres or other facility for real-estate purposes
- Businesses providing personal care services
- Banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces
- Municipal buildings
- Supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries and convenience stores
- Churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and other places of worship, except during a religious rite or ceremony that is incompatible with the face being covered
When it comes to children, every child that is five years old or older will be required to wear a mask.
Under the by-law, all businesses operating in Niagara must have a policy regarding the wearing of face coverings that prevent persons from entering without a mask. Additionally, businesses must ensure that staff receive training in the requirements of the policy and provide hand sanitizer at all public entrances.