WINGHAM, ONT. -- Huron-Perth is joining other health units by mandating the use of face coverings in their communities.

The Huron-Perth Health Unit will mandate the use of a mask or bandana or scarf, in all commercial establishments by July 17.

That means face coverings will required to enter retail and convenience stores, malls, even business offices with spaces open to the public.

“As we work towards a successful Stage 3 reopening, we also increase the risk of spreading the virus. Normalizing the use of masks helps reduce this risk and helps keep businesses and services up and running. We ask everyone to be kind and understanding when others can’t wear masks, and to physically distance from them,” says Dr. Miriam Klaasen, Medical Officer of Heath for the Huron-Perth Health Unit.

The Health Unit says operators of commercial establishments are expected to use their best efforts to implement their face covering policies. This means that signs and verbal reminders are used, but there is not a requirement that a business must turn away the customer.

Klaasen says exceptions can be made for people with medical circumstances.

Klaasen says further “mask mandates”, to include indoor public spaces, could be also coming in the near future.