Face-coverings now required in common areas of condos and apartment buildings in Mississauga

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It's official—Mississauga's temporary mandatory mask bylaw has been amended and non-medical masks or face-coverings are now required in the common areas—think lobbies, mailrooms, hallways, elevators and garbage/recycling rooms—of condominiums and apartment buildings.

A motion to amend the mask bylaw to include common areas in residential buildings was passed by city council on Aug. 5. 

Council also voted in favour of limits to restaurant capacities, a film and television reopening plan, the resumption of council and committee meetings and a review of the parks bylaw.

"Today we took the step to amend a bylaw to make face coverings mandatory in common areas of condominiums and apartments, similar to others. We want to protect the health and safety of residents wherever possible and this action will help us to remain diligent and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community," said Mayor Bonnie Crombie in a statement. 

The city says that the amended bylaw means residents—with the exception of children under two and people with certain medical conditions—must wear non-medical masks or face-coverings (such as a bandana or scarf) in enclosed common areas of residential apartment buildings and condominiums to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

The city says residential owners and operators of these buildings will be required to adopt a face-covering policy in accordance with the face-covering by-law. 

Masks are currently required in retail stores, shopping malls, restaurants (except when eating or drinking), grocery stores, convenience stores, places of worship (except during a religious rite or ceremony that is incompatible with the face being covered), indoor sports and recreational facilities, common areas of hotels and motels and other short term accommodations, libraries, museums, galleries, theatres, concert venues, open houses, MiWay buses, taxis and ride-share vehicles, municipal buildings and other indoor spaces that are open to the public.

Residents who fail to comply with the city’s mask policy could face fines of up to $500.

Council also passed a bylaw to cap restaurant capacities at 100 patrons and to limit the number of people that can be seated at a table in a restaurant or bar to 10 people.

At the meeting, Monica Hau, Associate Medical Officer of Health with the Region of Peel, recommended caping capacity in gyms and fitness facilities at 50 people (including staff members). Several members of council, including Ward 6 Councillor and acting mayor Ron Starr, raised concerns with the suggestion, arguing that capacity limits should be based on square footage. 

Council did not vote on specific capacity limits for fitness facilities. 

At the meeting, council also reviewed a reopening plan for the city's growing film and television sector.

Mississauga is currently home to six major film studios and more than 850,000 square feet of studio space. In 2019, the city saw a total of 1,463 filming days and more than $720,000 in revenue.

Going forward, COVID-19 protocols will be added to neighbourhood film notification letters and production companies will have to provide residents with written notices that will direct them to indicate any objections to filming by either phone or email.

The city also says that flexibility will be requested for requests to close rights-of-way to allow for sufficient physical distancing among casts and crew.

Council also voted to resume all council and committee meetings effective Sept. 8, 2020. The council procedure bylaw will be amended to allow electronic participation at all meetings until Aug. 1, 2021.

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