Mississauga's Mandatory Face Covering By-law

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and build on the progress that we have made in fighting this pandemic, the City of Mississauga has enacted The Mandatory Face Coverings in Indoor Spaces and Vehicles Accessible to the Public Bylaw 0169-2020 that makes the wearing of a face covering mandatory in all indoor locations that are accessible to the public as well as Transit Vehicles and vehicles for hire, whether or not a fee is charged for entry.

For more detailed information you may wish to refer to the by-law information. 

POLICY GUIDELINES

What businesses need to know

In order to comply with these by-law requirements and to help stop the spread of COVID-19, businesses must complete a number of tasks when the By-law comes into effect on July 10.

Develop a Policy to make sure that employees and customers understand that face coverings are required whenever a person enters your place of business and that they keep the face covering on while there. This policy must also list the persons exempt from wearing a Face Covering as identified in the By-law.

Keep the Policy Available and talk to staff members about the Policy to make sure they know what the expectations are. Keep a copy of the policy in an easy to find location. Also, staff must be able to provide the policy to inspectors who may from time to time inspect the premises.

Post Signage at every entrance in a place that is easy for the public to see and read, that lets people know that a face covering is required.

Train your staff  and let them know what the expectations are for them and for members of the public entering your location. Ensure that they are aware of the exemptions in the by-law

Exemptions for businesses

The Mandatory Face Covering By-law applies to every indoor space accessible to the public, whether or not a fee is charged for entry, except for:

  • Daycares, schools, post-secondary institutions and other facilities used solely for educational purposes.
  • Hospitals, and portions of buildings used by regulated health professionals;
  • Buildings owned and services operated by the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government of Canada;
  • Portions of community centres, arenas or other buildings that are being used for the purpose of providing day camps for children or for the training of amateur or professional athletes;
  • Portions of community centres, arenas or other municipally operated buildings, including buildings operated by the Regional Municipality of Peel, used for the purpose of providing community services or programs for which registration is required.

Every operator of an establishment that has an interior location accessible to the public must ensure that both staff and the public are wearing a face covering when inside except when the person identified that they are exempt. Failure to do so may result in charges against the owner or operator under the Provincial Offences Act who may then be subject to fine.

Exemptions for people and businesses

Face coverings are not required for: 

  • Children two years of age or younger
  • Children between the ages of three and five who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver
  • Individuals who have trouble breathing or are otherwise unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons or reason of disability, including those who are unable to remove face coverings without assistance
  • Individuals inside a restaurant or bar while consuming food or drink, provided such businesses are permitted to operate in accordance with the Emergency Orders and all other conditions of the Emergency Orders are met
  • Individuals who are actively engaged in an athletic, aquatic or fitness activity as permitted by the Emergency Orders
  • Employees within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier
  • Individuals receiving services involving the face that require the removal of a face covering, provided the services are permitted to operate according to the Emergency Orders and provided a two-metre/six feet distance is maintained from all other people other than the person providing the service
  • Police, fire or paramedics while responding to an emergency call
  • Individuals while testifying, examining or making submissions at a court, tribunal, arbitration or other quasi-judicial proceeding. 

You do not have to provide proof that an exemption applies to you. 

Enforcement of mandatory face coverings

  • Under the City’s bylaw, operators of businesses will be responsible for ensuring those entering their premises comply with the by-law requirements.
  • Under the by-law, individuals are required to wear a face covering before entering and while inside an indoor public space.
  • The City is applying to the Ministry of the Attorney General for set fines of less than $500 for both businesses and individuals.
  • The City will be taking the approach of education and awareness regarding the new by-law first, followed by enforcement.
  • Enforcement of the by-law will be the responsibility of the City’s By-law Enforcement Officers (non-City property), Corporate Security Officers (City facilities and buildings) and Transit Enforcement Officers (City transit terminals and MiWay buses).

RESOURCES

Please find printable resources available below for your use to assist in communicating to your staff and visitors. 

Printable Resources

Supporting Documents

  •  By-Law Document that covers the new by-law to require mandatory face coverings in indoor spaces and vehicles accessible to the public in the City of Mississauga. 
  • Sample Policy Document is a sample that we are providing that you can use to develop your own policy for your location. 

FAQS

By-law

Face coverings are mandatory in Peel Region based on the recommendations of Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Office of Health for the Region of Peel. 

The decision to enact a by-law to make face coverings mandatory in certain places in the City of Mississauga was made based on Dr. Loh’s recommendations. 

Face coverings are required in public establishments that are located indoors and are accessible to the public such as retail stores, businesses that sell food and shopping malls.

Yes. Face coverings will be required in taxis and private vehicles for hire such as Uber and Lyft.

Yes, but not during religious rites or ceremonies that are incompatible with the face being covered, such as while
receiving communion.

You can call 311 to report any businesses or individuals not following the by-law.

Enforcement/Fines

The by-law will be enforced on a complaint basis by municipal law enforcement officers from the City’s Enforcement Division and Security Services Section.

Yes. Exceptions include children under the age of two, persons with underlining medical conditions and persons who are unable to remove a face covering without assistance.

Also, the by-law does not apply to employees/staff members working within public establishments while they are behind a physical barrier, like plexiglass, or within an area of the building that is restricted to staff and not available to the public.

Yes. If a person who is not exempt under the by-law is identified as refusing to wear a face covering they can be issued an offence notice. Owners or operators of locations that are identified as failing to have a face covering policy in place or are failing to enforce that policy may also be charged with an offence under the by-law.

The owners and occupiers of public establishments have the right to set terms for service in their own premises and to deny people entry to their establishments, but must comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code and, in some cases, the Charter.

The City of Mississauga by-law includes an exemption for persons who cannot wear masks for medical reasons or reason of disability and does not require the owner/operator of a public establishment to deny service to someone who is not wearing a mask for medical reasons.

Types of Acceptable Face Coverings

A face covering includes a mask, bandana, scarf or other covering constructed of cloth, linen or other similar fabric that fits securely to the head and is large enough to completely and comfortably cover the mouth, nose and chin without gaping.

The by-law will be in force and effect until October 1, 2020.

No. Face coverings are not required in schools, day cares, post-secondary institutions and other facilities used solely for educational purposes.

Operators of establishments are not required to supply face coverings to the public.

Businesses are required to refuse entry to persons not wearing a face covering unless the person is exempt in accordance with the by-law.

Effective July 2, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering will be mandatory when travelling on MiWay, at stops and at transit terminals to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Children under the age of two, people with disabilities or other medical conditions that prevent them from wearing any mask will not be required to wear one.

FAQs for Business Operators

It doesn’t have to be complex. To help we are providing a sample that you can use to develop your own policy for your location.

Generally yes, but there are exemptions for the following:

  • children 2 years of age or younger
  • children between the ages of 3 and 5 who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do
    so by their caregiver
  • Persons who have trouble breathing or are otherwise unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons or for reason of disability, including Persons who are unable to remove masks without assistance
  • Persons while riding school transportation vehicles
  • Persons inside a restaurant or bar while consuming food or drink, should either type of business be permitted to reopen for indoor dining by the Province
  • Persons who are engaged in an athletic or fitness activity in accordance with the Emergency Orders
  • Employees and agents of the operator within an area not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.

You may ask “if” they are aware of the by-law and if they are exempt. If a customer enters without a face covering, advise them of your policy and that the face covering is now a by-law requirement. If they advise you that they are unable to wear a mask, that’s all you have to do. You have complied with the by-law. You should not ask them the specific reason they are unable to wear a mask.

Operators of establishments are not required to supply face coverings to the public.

No. If they advise that they are exempt that’s all that the by-law requires.

You may wish to direct them to the City of Mississauga website or to call 311. They can confirm that the Face Covering By-law is in effect.

Virtually any fabric that covers the nose, mouth and chin without gaping is acceptable. We recommend that the pubic not use medical masks as supplies remain low and should be reserved for use in the medical field.