Mandatory Mask By-Law Comes into Effect in Leamington

Posted on Wednesday August 12, 2020

Leamington Council has passed a by-law making it mandatory to wear a cloth mask in indoor public spaces within the Municipality of Leamington. This is an added health measure to reduce the risk of further COVID-19 infections as additional businesses and services begin to reopen in the community.

This requirement is effective immediately and means that, with some exemptions, all persons, including staff, customers or visitors entering an indoor public space are required to wear a mask or face covering.

“Our community continues to fight against COVID-19, and Council’s decision to mandate masks in indoor public spaces ensures we protect our residents while helping our businesses recover and our economy grow,” said Mayor Hilda MacDonald. “This is a small sacrifice we can all make for the greater good of our community.”

Where is a mask required under this by-law?

The mandatory mask by-law applies to the following indoor public spaces:

  • Transit vehicles
  • Commercial establishments where goods and services are sold to customers, including retail stores; convenience stores; malls/plazas; restaurants; personal service settings; grocery stores and bakeries; gas stations; farmer’s markets; areas of mechanics’ shops/garages/repair shops which are open to the public; and car dealerships
  • Community centres
  • Libraries, museums, art galleries, theatres or performing arts centres
  • Community service offices
  • Banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums or other event spaces
  • Laundromats
  • Common areas, including: waiting areas, lobbies, service counters, washrooms, hallways, stairwells and elevators; unless such area is within a residential apartment building or condominium

Where is a mask not required under this bylaw?

The mandatory mask by-law does not apply to the following indoor public spaces:

  • Schools and post-secondary institutions
  • Day care centres
  • Day camps for children
  • Buildings or portions of buildings used for the training of amateur or professional athletes
  • Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples or other places of worship
  • Hospitals and independent health facilities
  • Offices of regulated health professionals

Most of the above noted exclusions are generally found to be excluded from municipal by-laws or orders issued by Medical Officers of Health as these operations are largely governed by the province or have strong internal policies to protect the health of their clients and the public.

Who is exempt from wearing a mask under this by-law?

The following are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask:

  • A person under two years of age;
  • Aperson that is two years of age or older, but under five years of age chronologically or developmentally who refuses to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by the accompanying parent or guardian;
  • A person who is unable to wear a mask for medical reasons or who has a disability that prevents him or her from safely wearing a mask;
  • A person who is providing care to or is otherwise assisting a person with a disability where wearing a mask would hinder the accommodation of that person’s disability

Residents are not required to show proof that they are exempt from provisions of the by-law. We ask Leamington residents and visitors to be respectful of the rights of individuals who are exempt from wearing a mask in conformity with the exemptions provided in the by-law.

What do operators of public spaces need to do?

Under the by-law, all operators of public spaces in Leamington must have a policy regarding the wearing of masks that prevents people from entering or remaining within the public space without a mask. Additionally, operators must ensure that employees receive training in the requirements of the policy.  Operators must enforce the policy and not permit anyone who is not exempt from wearing a mask from entering or remaining within the public space.

For more information on the mandatory mask by-law visit:

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Instruction:

Prior to this by-law, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, also issued a Public Health Instruction related to masks, along with an Order for the requirement of masks in commercial establishmentsDetails can be found here:


Mandatory Mask By-law 61-2020 - PDF

Media Contact:

Kelly Sfetkidis, Manager of Communications & Public Relations
Municipality of Leamington
Tel: 519-326-5761 ext. 1117

© 2020 The Municipality of Leamington 111 Erie Street North, Leamington, Ontario N8H 2Z9

Phone: 519-326-5761
Fax: 519-326-2481
Email: General Information

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