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BURLINGTON’S MANDATORY MASK AND FACE COVERING BY-LAW: A GUIDE FOR BUSINESSES

As businesses and services reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a pressing need for businesses to implement regulations and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and to protect the health and wellbeing of Burlington residents. In particular, these measures are needed within enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

As a result, the City of Burlington has enacted By-Law 62-2020 requiring the use of face masks or face coverings, with some exceptions, in all indoor public spaces. This by-law is enforceable as of July 20, 2020 and will be in effect until January 31, 2021 unless extended or revoked by City Council. A detailed FAQ on the bylaw can be found at www.burlington.ca/masks.

On July 15, 2020, Halton Region passed By-law 47-20. This regional by-law is in effect until November 30, 2020, unless revoked or extended by Regional Council. If you have any questions or concerns regarding By-law 47-20, please call 311. Please see some Halton Region resources below, for more information please visit Halton Region’s COVID-19 Mandatory Mask By-Law webpage here.

Individuals or organizations that are responsible for the operation of businesses or facilities with enclosed (indoor) space open to the public are required to ensure no member of the public is permitted entry or remains on the premises unless wearing a mask or face covering.

This page has been updated to reflect the amendments made by the City of Burlington on August 17th. More about these amendments here.

In partnership with the City of Burlington, we have created a guide to support you in ensuring you and your business are in compliance with this by-law

Mask By-Law FAQ for businesses

Do I need to provide face coverings to my employees?

  • No, the by-law does not require employers to provide masks to employees. However, businesses must adhere to the Sector-specific guidelines set out by the province found here.

As Burlington moves into Phase 3, will guests need to wear a mask during physical activity?

  • No, guests can temporarily remove their Mask or Face Covering where necessary for the purpose of receiving services, or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity. Masks are required in common spaces (locker rooms, waiting areas) and when moving between pieces of equipment.

Are face shields in compliance with this by-law?

  • Face shields are not an approved face covering according to the Burlington By-Law 62- 2020 and Halton Region By-law 47-20. Public Health notes that face coverings should cover the nose and mouth without gapping so face shields on their own would not be appropriate.

What if a customer refuses to wear a mask when entering my place of business?

  • Businesses are required under the bylaw to have a mask policy and to comply with the bylaw subject to exemptions. This is not unlike how businesses can and have historically created other mandates for their customers as they deem essential to the safe and effective management of their businesses, including denying entry to those not in compliance, such as a “no shoes, no shirt, no service” dress code policy, limitations on how many customers can be in their stores at any given time, or asking spa patrons to shower before entering a pool.

Someone said they don’t have to wear a Face Covering or Mask because of a health condition, but they look fine, can I ask for proof?

  • No person is required provide proof of any of the exemptions set out in the by-law.

Do I need to create a policy and train my employees on this by-law?

  • Yes, according to the by-law all business owners that are open to the public must ensure that all persons working at the Establishment are trained in the requirements of the policy and this By-law and will maintain a record of all training.

I don’t have a sign/poster for business my entrances. What do I do?

  • The City of Burlington and Halton Region have developed downloadable posters for businesses. View Halton Region resources here and City of Burlington signage here.

Are individuals visiting offices for meetings exempt from this by-law?

  • For the purpose of this by-law, professional offices where clients receive purchased services (such as lawyer or accountant office) that are not open to members of the public except by appointment, are not included. Businesses must adhere to the Sector-specific guidelines set out by the providence and can be viewed here.

When are these instructions in effect? How long must people comply with these instructions?

  • City of Burlington By-Law 62-2020 is currently in effect until September 30th The Regional By-law (Halton Region By-law 47-20) which is similar in many ways to Burlington’s By-law is in place until November 30th, 2020.

Does a person still need to stay 2 meters away from others if they are wearing a face mask or covering?

  • All public health measures must still be maintained and promoted including washing your hands often with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, sneezing and coughing into your sleeve, staying home if you are ill and practicing physical distancing. These actions will reduce exposure to other people — this means staying at least 2 meters away from anyone outside your household or social circle.

QUICK DOWNLOADS

  • POSTER –  Download and print the mandatory mask or face covering poster we have made available to you and post it in high visibility areas at all entrances to the premises.
  • CHECKLIST – We have developed a checklist for Business Owners/Operators to ensure you are in compliance.

HALTON REGION RESOURCES 

  • POSTER – General use poster 1 with mask by-law language
  • POSTER – General use poster 2 listing all by-law exemptions
  • POSTER – How to wear a face-covering
  • FAQ FOR BUSINESSES – Frequently asked questions for business owners and operators
  • SAMPLE POLICY – Example policy that can be used by business owners and operators

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

Burlington by-law 62-2020 requires all owners/operators of establishments open to the public to do the following:

  1. Develop a policy to ensure members of the public wear a mask or face covering upon entry, and while remaining within all enclosed spaces of your establishment;
  2. Upon request, provide a copy of your policy for inspection by any person authorized to enforce this bylaw;
  3. Post signage, visible at all entrances of the Establishment, reminding people to wear a mask or face covering;
  4. Train all persons working at the Establishment on the requirements of the policy and this bylaw; and
  5. Encourage kindness and compassion in your establishment’s approach to fellow community members who may not be wearing a mask.

 WHAT IF I DON’T COMPLY?

Every person, business or facility who contravenes any provision of this bylaw is guilty of an offence, and upon conviction is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act. See the City of Burlington By-Law 62-2020 for more information. Fines associated with this by-law range from $300 – $100,000.

We appreciate your support in the effort to combat COVID-19 in our community. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions: city@burlington.ca

PURCHASING BURLINGTON MADE FACE MASKS

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce has curated a list of all Burlington businesses providing all types of PPE including sanitizer, face shields, and disposable face masks here. Many Burlington businesses have pivoted to include reusable face masks in their product offerings. Support Burlington businesses and shop local!

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