Wearing face masks is among the protective measure against Covid-19 infection. Since the reopening of businesses, it is not always easy to apply other protection measures such as social distancing. Besides, during the incubation period, infected people may transmit to others unknowingly. However, people infected with the virus can protect others by wearing face masks, as they prevent respiratory secretions (that contain the virus) from coming into contact with the air. Face masks also prevent microbes like the COVID-19 in the air from reaching the respiratory organs. A study has shown that surgical face masks prevent a significant percentage of particles from passing through into or outside the respiratory system (Mueller, Eden, Oakes, Bellini & Fernandez, 2020). Nevertheless, some people are ignorant and fail to observe critical guidelines to observe protection measures. That is why enacting by-laws for mandatory wearing of masks is a great approach to protecting the public in Ontario.
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This by-law is affecting many businesses, especially in the service industry. For instance, it puts an obligation on business owners to ensure a safe environment for both workers and customers (Erickson & Flaczyk, 2020). That entails denying service to customers who fail to wear masks or calling the police on them. They are also required to create convenient workplaces to facilitate prevention measures such as patios in restaurants, where customers have to don off facemasks (Balakrishnan, 2020). That means restaurant owners who do not have patios will have to devise other service delivery methods, such as selling take away products only. They may also reduce spacing in their rest areas to ensure adequate social distancing.
As a business owner, I feel that the by-law is strict but necessary. It is everyone’s responsibility, including business owners and customers, to mitigate the spread of the virus. Everyone should understand the risks and importance of face masks and don them until advised otherwise by relevant health authorities.
Balakrishnan, A. (2020). Ontario mask bylaws could be difficult for businesses to enforce, legal experts say | CBC News. Retrieved 18 January 2021, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-masks-enforcement-1.5640998#:~:text=Under%20the%20new%20rules%2C%20businesses,and%20enforce%20their%20mask%20policy
Erickson, S., & Flaczyk, C. (2020). Ontario employers, cover up! Mandatory face-covering orders now in effect in Toronto, Ottawa, and beyond. Retrieved 18 January 2021, from https://www.globalworkplaceinsider.com/2020/08/ontario-employers-cover-up-mandatory-mask-orders-now-in-effect-in-toronto-ottawa/
Mueller, A., Eden, M., Oakes, J., Bellini, C., & Fernandez, L. (2020). Quantitative Method for Comparative Assessment of Particle Removal Efficiency of Fabric Masks as Alternatives to Standard Surgical Masks for PPE. Matter, 3(3), 950-962. doi: 10.1016/j.matt.2020.07.006