On October 2, 2020, the Government of Ontario amended O. Reg 364/20 to require the wearing of masks and face coverings in many Ontario workplaces.
The amendment requires that “the person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall ensure that any person in the indoor area of the premises of the business or organization, or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization, wears a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin during any period when they are in the indoor area…”
Where am I required to wear a mask or face covering?
When you do go out, you must use a face covering (non-medical mask, such as a cloth mask) in public indoor spaces and whenever physical distancing is a challenge.
- public spaces (for example, inside stores, event spaces, entertainment facilities and common areas in hotels)
- workplaces, even those that are not open to the public
- vehicles that operate as part of a business or organization, including taxis and rideshares
When do I not have to wear a mask or face covering?
There are some situations when you do not need to wear a face covering.
You do not need medical documentation to support any of the exceptions below.
Children do not have to wear a face covering indoors if they are younger than two years old.
Health and accommodations
You do not need to wear a face covering if you:
- have a medical condition that inhibits your ability to wear a face covering
- are unable to put on or remove your face covering without help from someone else
- are receiving accommodations according to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or the Human Rights Code
You do not need to wear a face covering if you are in a:
- correctional institution
- custody program for young persons in conflict with the law
- detention program for young persons in conflict with the law
You do not need to wear a face covering when you are working in an area that allows you to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from anyone else while you are indoors.
Residences and dwellings
You do not need to wear a face covering in:
- university dorms, retirement homes, long-term care homes or other similar dwellings except when you are in a common area and can’t maintain 2 metres from others
- residences for people with disabilities (any residences 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)
Performing or rehearsing
You do not need to wear a face covering while you are performing or rehearsing for a:
- film or television production
- artistic event
- theatrical performance
Dos and Don'ts?
- wash your hands immediately before putting on and immediately after taking off a face covering or face mask
- practice good hand hygiene while you are wearing the face covering
- make sure the face covering fits well around your nose and mouth
- avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often
- avoid touching the covering while using it
- change the face covering or face mask when it gets slightly wet or dirty
- share face coverings or face masks with others
- place on children under the age of two years or on anyone unable to remove without assistance or who has trouble breathing
- use plastic or other non-breathable materials as a face covering or face mask
What about Municipal requirements?
Most municipalities have their own requirements when it comes to mask signage and policies. Please check your municipality's by-law for masks or call one of our Business Counsellors at 1 888-234-2232 for assistance.
Are there any grants for PPE for my business?
Yes there is a grant for PPE for very small businesses with two to nine employees. The grant is for $1,000.00. For more details see The Government of Ontario website.
What is the definition of a workplace?
As per the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) – Workplace is any location an employee reports to perform their duties. (this is the definition under OHSA: “workplace” means any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works; (“lieu de travail”)