OC Transpo will carry out “Operation Mask Up” from October 9 to 23 to help change the behavior of the small number of customers failing to comply with OC Transpo’s mandatory mask policy.
Wearing a mask has been mandatory on OC Transpo since June 15. Education about mask wearing has been ongoing since then, and most people wear one. During Operation Mask Up, OC Transpo Special Constables will be travelling across the transit system and talking to those customers not wearing a mask to remind them of the requirement. Those who continue to not wear a mask will receive a written warning under the City’s Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law and will be provided with a disposable mask. Special Constables may ask customers not to enter stations it they are not wearing a mask.
Not all disabilities or conditions are obvious. Remember to be COVID Kind: young children and customers with a disability or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask are exempt and will not be issued warnings. Customers who aren’t wearing a mask correctly will be given direction on proper mask wearing.
Operators will continue to let all customers onboard whether they are wearing a mask or not. Customers are reminded not to approach or engage other customers who are not wearing a mask.
City of Ottawa By-law officers have been laying charges since September 17, and this could be an eventual next step for transit customers who continue to use OC Transpo without masking up.
Wearing a mask plays an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 when people are unable to maintain 2 metres of physical distance. Being COVID Wise is how we are able to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and resume economic and social activities while COVID-19 is still in our community.
OC Transpo was the first transit agency in Canada to implement mandatory masks. We remain committed to the health and safety of our community. We’re following official public health guidelines. We ask customers to follow them, too. We’re all in this together.