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City of Burlington Repeals Emergency Declaration & Mask & Physical Distancing Bylaws Effective Immediately

STOCK_Mask Mandate Update - TW

“In all our decisions throughout the pandemic, we’ve been guided by data, science and advice from our Regional Medical Officer of Health, who is recommending lifting mask bylaws. In keeping with that advice, we lifted our mask bylaw on March 22 — Halton Regional Council voted to lift the Regional mask bylaw at a special meeting held Saturday (March 19).

I know our community has mixed views on the mask bylaw, with residents who wanted us to lift it sooner, and residents who wanted us to extend our bylaw for another few weeks. We have listened and understand all perspectives. Especially during this time of transition, where some will continue to wear masks, it is essential that as a community, we are tolerant and kind to the choices of others.

With health indicators remaining low, City Council also terminated our physical distancing bylaw, as well as our State of Emergency declaration — two years after it was enacted. I’m so grateful to the sacrifices, compassion and cooperation of our community, City Council and staff for getting us through this time together. It hasn’t been easy, but we have supported one another and will hang on to the many positive changes that emerged during the pandemic.” — Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — Tuesday, March 22, 2022 — The City’s mask bylaw and physical distancing bylaw have both been repealed effective immediately. This was approved by City Council today and aligns with the Province of Ontario’s plan to remove mandatory masking requirement for most settings on March 21 and the Province’s latest easing of capacity limits in all indoor settings earlier this month.

Council also terminated the City’s state of emergency effective immediately. The City will continue to remain vigilant in this pandemic and use its governance and decision-making guidelines to take action.

With the repeal of both the mask bylaw and the physical distancing bylaw, the City is continuing to follow the direction and guidance of the Province and the Regional Medical Officer of Health in making its decisions. These decisions help protect our community and City staff and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Passive screening for the public visiting City facilities will continue to be in place. Members of the public who wish to continue to wear their mask in City facilities are welcome to do so.

As we move into what we hope to be the end phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and we take more steps towards a return to our pre-pandemic lives, we ask you once again to be kind and civil to one another.

When it comes to masking, some people are ready to remove their masks, while others may not be – and that’s OK. We ask our community to be supportive of everyone and reminder that masks are still currently mandatory per the Province in select settings such as public transit, health care settings, long-term care homes and congregate care settings.

Thank you to all our front-line staff and to front-line staff everywhere. We know you’ve been through more than your fair share, so please know we couldn’t have gone this far without you.

The City of Burlington continues to have obligations under workplace safety law (OHSA) to take every precaution reasonable to protect the worker. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has maintained requirements for workers for physical distancing, masking and personal protective equipment, despite these measures being lifted in the Re-opening of Ontario Act.  This means daily active screening of City employees and source control masking will remain in place for City staff.

“With every wave of the pandemic, our goal has been to protect the health and safety of our community and staff. As a world, a province and a community, we have evolved as a society in managing our health and safety and we will continue to remain vigilant to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Our decisions continue to be based on the direction and guidance of the Province and the Regional Medical Officer of Health. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we go through another change in this pandemic with the removal of these mandates. Please be respectful and kind to each other as many may wish to continue to wear their masks and are welcome to do so.” — Sheila Jones, Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability Corporate Strategy Team, City of Burlington

Quick Facts:

  • As of March 21, 2022, the provincial mask mandate is removed from the protective measures for locations and sectors except public transit, health care settings, long term care facilities and other high risk vulnerable settings
  • The Province is encouraging people to conduct their own individual risk assessment including suggesting vulnerable people should continue to take precautions despite the easing of restrictions
  • On March 17, 2020, based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials, the Ontario government declared a provincial emergency
  • On March 21, 2020, the Mayor declared a state of emergency for Burlington as it worked through the provincial orders in closing City facilities, enabling staff to work from home, redeploying staff as necessary, and continuing to provide essential services to our community.

For more information on the City’s COVID-19 response, visit burlington.ca/coronavirus. For more information on what to expect at City facilities, visit burlington.ca/coronavirusfaq

Additional Information — COVID-19 Resources:

RELATED LINKS:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600