Don’t forget your mask, Ottawa! In a City Council meeting next week, officials will decide whether to make face coverings mandatory in even more public spaces. Ottawa’s new mask rules could include all communal areas in condos and apartments, and even some designated outdoor spaces.

A new report from Anthony Di Monte, the city’s general manager of emergency and protective services, and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches is urging City Council to consider an update to Ottawa’s current mandatory mask bylaw.

The notice, which will be discussed by Council on August 26, suggests making masks mandatory in all common spaces in condos and apartments.

This is expected to include all entrances, elevators, lobbies, gyms and laundry rooms.  

Although wearing masks in these spaces was already strongly recommended by Dr. Etches, the bylaw update would ensure all condominiums and apartments follow the City’s mask rules.

In addition, according to the Ottawa Citizen, the report also proposes short-term face coverings in some designated outdoor “zones.”

While these spaces are yet to be identified, the move would allow Di Monte to implement the mask bylaw in outdoor areas that are particularly busy at specific times.

Ottawa’s mandatory mask bylaw was passed by officials on July 15, and it is currently set to expire on August 26, 2020.

However, in their latest report, Dr. Etches and Di Monte have recommended Council extend the directive for at least another two months.

This means, per their suggestion, compulsory face masks in Ottawa could be sticking around until October 31.

Since July 26, it has been mandatory in Ottawa to wear an appropriate face covering in all indoor public spaces.

This includes restaurants, retail stores, libraries, places of worship, entertainment venues, hotels, health facilities and more.

While officials’ latest report suggests October 31 as the prospective end-date, Ontario Premier Doug Ford previously mused that Canadians could be wearing masks for “years” to come.

If the proposed updates are approved by Council on Wednesday, the new rules will come into effect immediately. 

Whether you love or loathe your mask, it looks like it’s going to be sticking around for a little while longer!

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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