Masks now required to enter public businesses in Simcoe Muskoka
BARRIE, ONT. -- Starting Monday, there will be a new slogan for Simcoe-Muskoka businesses: no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.
A policy that requires face coverings for masks to enter at all indoor businesses, organizations, and to ride public transit takes effect Monday.
There are some exemptions for those with medical conditions, children under the age of five, those with religious reasons, and those who are unable to remove the mask without help.
For many businesses that have lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, masks mean an additional financial pinch.
Will Smith, owner of Say It With Love Bridal in Barrie, has struggled since reopening mid-May without weddings, proms, or graduations.
Smith says staff members will be ensuring that customers are aware of the protocols, and will provide a mask for those who don't have one.
"They are not cheap. They are over a dollar for a disposable mask. It's proving to cost us a lot of money," Smith said.
Despite the cost, Smith would rather provide a mask than lose a customer.
At Centennial Beach on Sunday, many people said they felt safer with face masks being in effect, and they're confident that most of Simcoe-Muskoka residents will comply.
The public health unit says they are focusing on education before enforcement. But individuals could ultimately face tickets of $750-$100,000 if they don't follow the rules. Corporations could be fined up to $10-million a day for an offence.