What Step 3 Reopening Means for Condominium Masking Requirements

With Step 3 of Ontario’s “Reopen Roadmap” set to go live tomorrow, July 16th, we’ve been sharing with you the general changes that are coming and some more specific details regarding indoor recreational facilities and pools.

We wanted to share one other change that may impact condominiums, specifically the requirement to wear masks while inside.

According to the province’s regulation, individuals are still “required to wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin during any period when they are in the indoor area”….but subject to a new exception.

Step 3 provides several exceptions, including many we’re familiar with, like exempting children under the age of two from the mask-wearing requirement. However, there is a new exception that applies to premises used as a “dwelling”, which in our view includes the common elements of a residential condominium.

It looks like (under the Step 3 Regulations) individuals do not have to wear masks in common areas of a residential condominium if they are able to maintain a 2-metre distancing. This means that masks would still be needed if you’re sharing an elevator, or passing someone in the hallway.

Also, some municipalities (including Ottawa) have by-laws stating that masks must be worn at all times while on indoor common areas – whether or not 2-metre distancing is possible. [Ottawa’s by-law is currently set to be repealed effective August 26, 2021.]

Anyway, we encourage condominiums to think of placing signs that make the mask-wearing requirement clear.

ALSO:  In our view, it would certainly be proper (if desired) for a given condominium corporation to have a policy or Rule requiring that masks be worn at all times (while on the condominium’s interior common elements). 

Stay safe and stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on reopening Ontario!