Members of the public are required to wear face coverings while attending faith-based gatherings inside places of worship. Places of worship are considered a public premises. A person must wear a face covering in a public premises.
If the religious leader, staff, or volunteer leading the faith-based gathering is speaking in a part of the building not accessible to the public, wearing a face covering is optional and at their own discretion. This would, for example, mean a Pastor within his pulpit is not required to wear a face covering while addressing his congregation.
Drop in child programs offered by places of worship are not considered “child care facilities”. All children except those exempt under Section 5H of the Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw are required to wear a face covering while inside a place of worship.
Bylaw 984-20 – Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw Interpretation
Public premises are defined as “all or any part of a building, structure or other enclosed area to which members of the public have access as of right or by express or implied invitation but excludes any premises for which there is an enrollment or membership requirement in order to access it”. Places of worship do not require enrollment or membership to enter the building. They are open to the public through express or implied invitation.
- Section 5H states:
- 5 H. Persons under two (2) years of age or a person who is under five (5) years of age, chronologically or developmentally, and who refuses to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.