Restaurant owner, employee fined for breaching mask bylaw

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / halfpoint

The City of London says a restaurant owner and an employee have been ticketed for violating the city’s mandatory face-covering bylaw.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the city said the tickets were issued Tuesday, but it did not name the restaurant.

“We remain focused on education, but part of that education also includes enforcement as necessary,” said Mayor Ed Holder. “The vast majority of Londoners and London businesses have set an extremely high standard when it comes to respecting public health guidelines, and we have every intention of maintaining that standard going forward. While not our preference, we will not hesitate to issue fines and charges to those who refuse to adjust their behaviours thereby placing at risk the health and wellbeing of others.”

Fines for violating the by-law are set at $500. The City says municipal bylaw officers have been engaged in an education and enforcement approach since the bylaw came into effect on July 21. It says those officers have gone to over two thousand establishments and issued warnings to 105 people, including customers and employees.

There are exemptions to the bylaw for people who are unable to wear masks for medical reasons. Children under the age of 12 are also exempt.

“We are fortunate that we continue to see high compliance with the by-law with the majority of business operators and the public understanding and following the requirements,” said Chief By-Law Officer Orest Katolyk. “We understand this is a difficult time for Londoners but this by-law remains in effect to help protect the community and stop the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to visit businesses and identified hot spots including restaurants and bars in the downtown core and use enforcement action to issue fines as necessary.”

According to the City, anyone who has concerns about businesses or individuals who are violating the by-law can call 519-661-4660 or send an email to COVIDOrderConcerns@london.ca.