What You Need to Know About Mandatory Masks

Mandatory Masks in Ottawa:

It will be mandatory to wear a mask over your mouth, chin and nose when entering an indoor public space, starting at 12:01 am Tuesday (July 7).

This directive comes from Ottawa Public Health, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, as well as Renfrew County and District Health.

It will be enforced in good faith to start, until Ottawa City Council votes next Wednesday (July 15) on a mandatory mask bylaw, that would be more strictly enforced with penalties for non-compliance, like fines.

The onus will be on the owner/operator of the business/facility to ensure masks are worn inside.


Ottawa Public Health has revealed a few exemptions for this order. They include:

  • Children under two years of age, or children under the age of five years either chronologically or developmentally who refuse to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver; 
  • Individuals with medical conditions rendering them unable to safely wear a Mask, including breathing difficulties or cognitive difficulties;  
  • Individuals who are unable to apply or remove a mask without assistance, including those who are accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights CodeR.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended; 
  • A person who is employed by or is an agent of the Operator of an Enclosed Public Space and: 
    • is in an area of the premises that is not designated for public access, or  
    • is within or behind a physical barrier (e.g., Plexiglass). 

Other Orders:

The directive passed Monday also calls for building owners/managers to ensure the availability of alcohol-based hand rub at all entrances and exits for the use of all persons entering or exiting the establishment.

Click here for more details from Ottawa Public Health.

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