Masks will now be mandatory when using Guelph Transit.
The city announced Tuesday that based on updated advice from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, people using Guelph Transit must wear a mask or face covering to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The new rule takes effect immediately.
Previously the city had asked riders to wear face coverings, but it was not mandatory.
The city news release said that on Friday it received a letter from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health advising the city to mandate face coverings for transit users.
“We’ve seen more people wearing them voluntarily; making them mandatory reinforces the latest advice from local health officials. Guelph is using the same approach as Hamilton, Ottawa and Toronto, and I hope that helps reassure people who may have been uncertain about using transit,” said deputy CAO Colleen Clack in the news release.
Riders must wear a scarf, bandana, homemade or purchased mask that covers their nose and mouth.
Initially, Guelph Transit will have a limited supply of masks available for those who may not be aware of the new requirement or have resources to purchase or make a mask or face covering. Riders in need of a mask can request one from the on-duty supervisor at Guelph Central Station.
Riders are also encouraged to use the hand sanitizer provided on each bus and leave space between passengers if possible.
According to public health officials, wearing a homemade face covering or mask is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing. Wearing a mask has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, but it can help protect others around you.
Consistent with the order issued by Wellington-Dufferin-Public Health requiring face coverings in commercial establishments, riders may be exempt from wearing a mask or face covering if:
- they are under the age of five years either chronologically or developmentally and they refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
- wearing a face covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way; or
- for any other medical reason, the person cannot safely wear a face covering such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information.
Guelph Transit will also be installing plexiglass barriers near the driver before resuming front-door boarding, fare collection and regular schedules later this summer.