Attending this year’s Toronto International Film Festival will be very different. That is, until you get into the theatre. That's because TIFF’s mask policy doesn’t require viewers to wear face coverings while watching movies in physical auditoriums.

This year’s festival will be a mix of virtual and in-person screenings.

However, for the physical screenings, guests will only be required to wear masks when making their way through the building. Once seated, they will be permitted to remove them.

“Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times by staff and patrons when moving through TIFF Bell Lightbox. Patrons may remove their masks once they are sitting in their assigned in-cinema seats. All in-person events have assigned seating to accommodate social distance spacing,” states the TIFF website.

This differs slightly from regular movie theatre policy in the province.

Cineplex, for example, requires masks in municipalities where they have been made mandatory in public indoor areas.

Toronto is one such city — face coverings have been mandatory in enclosed public spaces since July 7, 2020.

TIFF has outlined the precautions that they will be taking, which include providing access to hand sanitizers, encouraging physical distancing, wiping down and disinfecting surfaces, and conducting regular cleaning in high-traffic areas.

Additionally, employees will wear face coverings at all times.

TIFF wants its patrons to acknowledge that "inherent risk" exists in any public place. 

TIFF has asked viewers to "stay home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms,self-report positive COVID-19 testing, and adhere to all safety guidelines as set out by government health officials."

However, recommendations from the Ontario government include mask usage in indoor public places where physical distancing is difficult.

Remember though: If you're attending TIFF in person, you can still opt to wear your mask.

Anyone who is uncomfortable with their policies, can always just choose to take part in the virtual viewings.

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