Montreal Mayor Plante making masks mandatory – Just this past May 11th, Mayor Valerie Plante, who had been urging Montrealers to wear masks in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus said, “Wearing the face cover is a gesture of solidarity. By wearing it we protect others, we protect ourselves, we look out for all of us. Although this measure is not the only solution, once it has been adopted, it becomes a complement to other measures so that we can begin to resume our activities. I’m counting on us, I’m counting on you.” It came at a time as restrictions on some businesses were being lifted and masks were not mandatory. However, many people still chose not to wear them, believing them unnecessary and useless.
When are face masks mandatory to wear in Montreal public places?
Now, as many other establishments have reopened, there have been significant outbreaks in areas around Montreal, the epicentre of the virus in Quebec. As well, 20 people tested positive on the South Shore after attending house parties and visiting a bar on June 30th. Health officials are asking that anyone who attended the parties or visited the Mile Public House bar in Brossard at that time, to immediately get a COVID-19 test. Prompted by these events, Mayor Plante announced July 6th that the wearing of masks in Montreal will be mandatory in all indoor public spaces as of July 27th, including public transit.
On Mayor Plante’s Facebook page, she issued this statement:
“Over the past few days, we have witnessed the emergence of some outbreaks in the suburbs of Montreal, which could undermine the efforts we have been making since the beginning of this pandemic.
I want to be clear: we must do everything we can to protect ourselves. That is why the Ville de Montreal is currently working on a by-law making it mandatory to wear face coverings in enclosed public places. We will draw on the experiences of Canadian cities that have already adopted such a by-law, or are about to do so. The municipal council will be called to order for the by-law to be implemented by the end of the month. Our intention is that the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory in public places closed as of July 27, as is the case for public transit.
Since most sectors of the economy have reopened, I have been meeting with Montreal merchants to take the pulse of the deconfinement. While our courageous entrepreneurs look to the future with enthusiasm and resilience, many of them have pointed out to me the daily challenges they face in ensuring that the rules of hygiene and distancing are respected in their establishments. For many, a loosening leading to eventual reconfinement would simply mean putting the key under the door. A setback would be a disaster for human lives and for our economy.
We will, of course, allow a period of adjustment and grace so that everyone is ready. While we will not hesitate to crack down on offenders in the long run in order to enforce the regulations, we see this as a way to help merchants more easily enforce the rules with their customers and to target a minority of offending institutions. It’s a whole part of our economy, as well as the health and wages of thousands of workers, at stake.
Although our regulations are not yet in force, I invite all Montrealers to take part in this final battle against COVID-19 by wearing a face covering today. I know that many of you want to get back to your normal lives and enjoy a carefree summer. It is by following the instructions together that we can protect ourselves against a potential second wave.”
Montreal’s announcement follows in the footsteps of the city of Cote Saint-Luc, as well as Toronto, Ottawa and a growing number of states in the US. How it will be monitored here and if fines will be implemented, are yet to be known.