Two of Canada’s biggest cities are now joining a growing number of jurisdictions that are ordering their citizens to wear masks.
As of today, people in Toronto and Ottawa must wear non-medical masks in indoor public spaces.
“I’m absolutely convinced that most people having a brief explanation from whether it’s a healthy person, a bylaw officer, a police officer or a neighbour who understands they’re going to be protecting their neighbours from getting sick and that their neighbours, by wearing a mask, are protecting them, most people will wear one,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.
The new rules are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In Ontario, the total of confirmed cases is now at 36,060, the second-highest in the country, and there have been more than 2,500 deaths.
B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said last week she doesn’t plan on making mask-wearing mandatory just yet, but it may happen during the fall flu season.
However, many people are already taking precautions.
A survey conducted by Abacus Data shows that when entering retail stores 48 per cent of British Columbians are always or almost always wearing a mask, while 26 per cent said they’re wearing masks at least half the time or less. while just 26% say they never wear one.
Opinions are still varied around the country, but some experts are applauding the firm stance taken in Ontario.
“I think when we give people advice on when it’s recommended and when you could, or when you should, it still leaves it very much open to judgment, and it’s a bit wishy-washy, and what we need now is clarity as to what we’re expected to do, said Dr. Susy Hota of the University Health Network.
Children under the age of two and those who can’t take the mask off themselves will be exempt from the bylaw.