Media Release:

Newmarket – Effective today, operators of enclosed public spaces in York Region are required to have a policy in place that prohibits persons from entering premises of an establishment if the person is not wearing a face mask or covering based on an instruction from York Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karim Kurji.

This policy is subject to appropriate exemptions.

The instruction is directed to commercial establishments in York Region and will remain in place until Monday, November 30, 2020.

“York Regional Council remains committed to the health and safety of our residents,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Businesses open to the public have worked diligently to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Face masks or coverings will play a key role for continued success in re-opening the economy and will help safeguard our residents and visitors.”

Effective Friday, July 17 at 12:01 a.m., business owners and operators in York Region must have a policy in place to prohibit people from entering if they are not wearing a face mask or covering and must place approved York Region signage on the premises.

Outdoor settings and indoor spaces not open to the public are excluded. Additionally, a face mask or covering is not required at home with immediate family members, while eating on a restaurant patio or in the workplace where other standards apply, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

“There is growing public health evidence that widespread use of face masks or coverings when used with other public health recommendations is effective in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Kurji. “This includes physical distancing in public spaces, frequently washing your hands and staying home when you are sick. We will get through this, but only if everyone does their part to protect the health and safety of everyone in our communities.”

In both indoor and outdoor settings, face masks or coverings do not represent a substitute for physical distancing.

This instruction is to be applied in good faith and will be used primarily as an opportunity to educate people on the use of face masks or coverings, combined with other on-going recommended public health practices.

Learn more about what you need to know as a community member and as a business owner or operator at which includes additional information, resources and signage.

For more information on York Region’s response to COVID-19, visit

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 52,000 businesses with over 636,600 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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