City Reminds Residents of Face Covering Requirements in Enclosed Common Areas

Published on: 2021/12/21 - in Releases

RELEASE — Mayor Bryan Paterson, with the support of KFL&A Public Health, updated Emergency Order Number 4 on Monday regarding face coverings in enclosed common areas in buildings. The updated order aims to address the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Emergency Order Number 4 requires all individuals to wear a face covering over their nose, mouth and chin in all enclosed common areas inside multi-unit residential buildings or commercial establishments offering overnight sleeping accommodations. Examples include apartment buildings, condominiums, hotels, motels, short-term rentals, or other operations that fit this definition.

“Rising case numbers are a concern to everyone in our community,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “That is why we’re taking this action to further protect our community and address concerns regarding transmission in common building areas.”

This order is in effect from Dec. 20 until such time as it is rescinded by the Mayor.

Responsibilities for building owners:

  • Ensure anyone permitted access to an enclosed common area of a building wears a face covering while in that enclosed common area.
  • Adopt and prominently post, or make available, a policy in-line with this order to ensure anyone permitted inside enclosed common areas wears a face covering.
  • Provide a copy of that policy upon request to a City Bylaw Officer or any individual authorized to enforce the order.
  • Post signage in a highly visible location, at all building entrances, that contains the following information: All persons entering or remaining in these premises shall wear a face covering which covers the nose, mouth and chin as required.

Exemptions to the order

  • Children under the age of two-years-old.
  • Children under the age of five, either chronologically or developmentally, who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by a caregiver.
  • Those with underlying medical conditions that prevent the wearing of a face covering.
  • Individuals who cannot place or remove a face covering without assistance.
  • Employees and agents of the building owner who are within an area designated for them without public access or those within or behind a physical barrier.
  • Anyone who is reasonably accommodated by not wearing a face covering under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • Temporary removal of the face covering for the purpose of receiving services or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity.

Proof of exemption is not required for those who meet one of the criteria listed above.


Officers have the right to enter buildings to conduct inspections to determine if the order is being applied. Failure to abide by an emergency order is enforceable by a $2000 fine under the City’s Administrative Monetary Penalties process.

Release: City of Kingston
Photo: Petra Wessman (cc)