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Mayor John Tory nixes idea of making masks mandatory outdoors

Distance, not masks, is key to preventing COVID-19 spread outdoors, Tory said
Jan. 19, 2021
Bryan Passifiume

Toronto’s mayor isn’t keen on expanding the city’s mandatory mask rules.

Speaking Monday morning onCP24, Mayor John Tory said making masks compulsory in all outdoor settings isn’t in the cards.

“When you are outdoors, the ventilation is, of course, so much better, therefore the risk is lowered, especially if you are keeping your distance from people,” he said.

“The most important thing isn’t masks, it’s distance.”

Right now, masks are only mandatory in public indoor settings like businesses, stores, workplaces, shelters and common areas of apartment and condo buildings -- as well as inside vehicles operated by a business or organization.

As well, people not from the same household are required to stay at least two metres from others while out in public.

Aside from questioning the need, Tory said the bigger challenge is enforcement -- saying police and bylaw officers are far too busy to be patrolling streets making sure everybody is masked.

“We’ve talked about it, but it’s not something I’d expect happen,” Tory said.