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Region's mandatory face covering by-law starts today

Residents in Waterloo Region must have a face covering while in an indoor public space, public transit or bus shelters
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(Getty Images)

The day has arrived, face coverings are now mandatory in Waterloo Region.

Residents are now required to wear a covering in all public indoor spaces, public transit and bus shelters, as passed by Regional Council after a lengthy meeting last Monday night.

However, children under five and those with a medical condition or disability are among those who are exempt.

Face coverings are required in the following locations:

  • Buses, bus shelters, ION trains and ION platforms
  • Stores and shopping malls
  • Indoor areas of restaurants and bars, with the exception of patrons consuming food/drink
  • Professional services such as counselling, personal care, funeral homes, repair and rental services
  • Lobby areas of commercial buildings
  • Hotels and motels, with the exception of rented rooms
  • Laundromats
  • Indoor areas of fitness centres, gyms and recreational and sports facilities
  • Indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Arcades and other indoor amusement facilities
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, etc.
  • Places of worship
  • Municipal buildings 

Those not wearing a mask aren't required to provide proof, and residents are being asked to take residents at their word if they say they can't wear one.

Businesses are required to post signage of the by-law at all their entrances, in clear view.

Greater KW Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ian McLean says the business community is glad to have the by-law in place, as it provides clarity moving forward

Fines will not be issued for not wearing one in public place, but it could land you a court summons, and you could face a fine of up to $1,000.

However, for those riding Grand River Transit, if you're violating the by-law on their property, you could end up with a $240 fine.

For transit riders that may not have access to a face covering, officials with GRT will be giving away 40,000 masks.

As well, Cambridge Memorial Hospital is giving away free fabric masks, while supplies last.

If you have any other questions in regards to the by-law, it's likely on the region's FAQ page on the subject.

You can access that page HERE.




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