ORANGEVILLE, ONT. -- A new order will come into effect in Dufferin County on Friday that requires anyone who steps inside a commercial establishment to wear a face mask.

The order was issued by the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health's medical officer of health, Dr. Nicola Mercer.

"When you are either in a commercial enterprise - they provide goods and services to the public - within that public space, that's where you must wear a mask," she explains.

Stores are also required to have hand sanitizer by the entrance, but unlike the masks, people can choose whether or not to use the sanitizer.

The warden for the County of Dufferin says, "We all want our businesses to be successful, and as we adjust to this new reality, it is important to take measures that will mitigate the need for future closures."

Dr. Mercer says she will lift the mask order if no new cases, or a significant decline in cases, are reported in two weeks.

But she warns that the threat of the virus still exists.

"There will be a second wave of COVID-19 if we do not take the measures to prevent it."

Not wearing a facial covering in a commercial business is considered an offence and could carry a fine of up to $5,000.