Advice on Handling Patrons Without a Mask

Now that Toronto has moved into the Grey Zone and retailers are able to open at a reduced capacity, it is more likely that you and/or your staff may encounter people who cannot or refuse to wear a mask. While we do not and cannot take an official position on the matter, we are happy to provide some advice to business owners who are worried about encountering people without a mask: 
 
  1. You have a right to refuse entry to anyone to anyone not wearing a mask and risking the health of your business and staff. Create a mask policy for your establishment, communicate this policy to your employees and patrons, and post signs at all entrances and high-visibility areas. 
  2. Should you encounter someone who cannot or refuses to wear a mask, you do not want to escalate the situation. Calmly explain your policies and their importance. Sometimes, people act out of frustration and misinformation. 
  3. It is important that you are respectful of people who are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or age – they are not required to show proof of their exception. Be sure to provide an alternative method of service to these customers. You are not required to allow someone who cannot wear a mask inside your store, but you should be able to still provide a service. For example, if you have online ordering and pickup options, this should suffice, or offer to pick up what they need and check out at the curb. 
  4. Finally, if someone without a mask refuses your offer to provide an alternative service and continues to attempt to enter your store, get back up. You may call the police non-emergency line at 416-808-2222, or if the person is causing a disturbance and the circumstance is likely to escalate, you should call 911. 
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We hope this helps. Please reach out to us and the police if you are having issues.