City of Kingston Restricts Large Gatherings Downtown and Requires Face Coverings to Be Worn in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings

Following the provincial government’s decision to reduce gathering limits for unmonitored private gatherings and events happening in Toronto, Ottawa and the Peel region, the City of Kingston has today issued an Emergency Order discouraging large congregations in specific areas and requiring face coverings in enclosed common areas in condominiums.

The Order restricts groups of more than 10 people in areas in and around downtown Kingston (please consult this map to see the specific areas that are covered by the Emergency Order), and requires physical distancing to be observed on sidewalks, streets and boulevards in the downtown areas.

The Order also mandates the wearing of face coverings in all enclosed common areas of multi-unit residential buildings and requires building owners to take steps to ensure the Order is being adhered to. For example, building owners and operators are required to place signage with the following wording at all entrances to the building: All persons entering or remaining in these premises shall wear a face covering which covers the nose, mouth and chin as required.

Condominium Corporations in the City of Kingston should take immediate steps to put up the required signage.

For the purposes of the Emergency Order, enclosed common area refers to a “space, room or facility available for common use within a multi-unit residential building”, and includes lobbies, elevators, and meeting rooms [NOTE: this definition is similar to the definition under the City of Ottawa’s Temporary Mask By-Law, which defines enclosed common area as “an interior shared space or amenity, including but not limited to an entrance, lobby, laundry room, elevator or gym, found in a Condominium or Multi-Unit Residential Building”]. The Order does, however, exempt the following groups of people from having to wear a face covering:

  • Children under the age of 2, or children under the age of 5 who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
  • Individuals with an underlying medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering, individuals who are unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance, and persons who are exempt under federal or provincial legislation;
  • Employees of a building without public access or behind a physical barrier; and
  • Individuals temporarily removing the face covering to receive a service or to engage in an athletic activity.

The Emergency Order also authorizes Kingston Police and Municipal Enforcement (By-Law) Officers to enter buildings and conduct inspections in order to ensure compliance, and imposes a $2,000.00 fine for failure to comply [per the city’s Administrative Monetary Penalties].