London restaurant fined for breaching mandatory face covering by-law

London, Ont., by-law officers have issued two fines to a business found not following the mandatory face-covering by-law imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Tuesday, a restaurant operator and employee were found breaching the by-law. The name of the restaurant is not known at this time.

Under the by-law, with some exceptions, anyone, including employees, customers and visitors entering an indoor public space, must wear a mask or face covering while inside.

Business owners are also required under the by-law to post visible signs, which indicate the face-covering requirement.

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“We are fortunate that we continue to see high compliance with the by-law with the majority of business operators and the public understanding and following the requirements,” says Chief By-Law Officer, Orest Katolyk.

“We understand this is a difficult time for Londoners, but this by-law remains in effect to help protect the community and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Katolyk said officers will continue to visit businesses, identifying hot spots in the downtown core and issue fines as necessary.

Customers and employees not wearing a face covering or businesses that do not have proper signage displayed face a fine of $500.

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The mask by-law came into effect on July 21 following City Council approval.

“The vast majority of Londoners and London businesses have set an extremely high standard when it comes to respecting public health guidelines, and we have every intention of maintaining that standard going forward,” Mayor Ed Holder said.

“While not our preference, we will not hesitate to issue fines and charges to those who refuse to adjust their behaviours, thereby placing at risk the health and wellbeing of others.”

Officers have visited over 2,110 establishments and given warnings to 105 individuals, including customers and employees, found not complying with the by-law.

Face coverings include a conventional mask, a bandana, scarf, cloth or similar item that covers the nose, mouth and chin without gapping.

Those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children under the age of 12, and other accommodations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, are not required to wear a mask.

People are also allowed to temporarily remove their mask or face covering when receiving services, having a meal, or engaging in athletic or fitness activity.

Residents with concerns about businesses and individuals who are not following COVID-19 related orders or the by-law can contact COVIDOrderConcerns@london.ca or call 519-661-4660.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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