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Mandatory Face Covering and Mask By-law

Wearing a face covering will be required in enclosed public spaces beginning July 10, 2020 under County of Prince Edward By-Law 115-2020. The face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin. A face shield may be permitted where a cloth face covering is not practical or possible.

Wearing face covering is an additional measure we can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe. This means that, with some exceptions, all customers or visitors entering an enclosed public space are required to wear a mask or face covering while inside. The requirement to wear a mask or face covering also applies to an outdoor market or farm stand when physical distancing is not possible

Learn how to wear a face covering or mask safely

Information for the Public

Information for Business Owners and Operators

Information for the Public

What the Bylaw Means for You

• You must wear a face covering such as a mask or other face covering, including a bandana, scarf, or other fabric when you are in enclosed public spaces

• The face covering or mask should cover your nose, mouth and chin

• A face shield is permitted where a cloth face covering is not practical or possible

• Follow the mask policy of the business you are visiting

• Exemptions are allowed. You do not need to bring proof of your exemption

• Be respectful as businesses and others operating facilities open to the public adopt new policies to protect all of us from COVID-19

Learn how to wear a face covering or mask covering safely

Information for Business Owners and Operators

Summary of Requirements

• You must create a mask policy for your establishment

• All staff, customers, or visitors must wear a mask indoors, with some exceptions (e.g. children under the age of two and people with certain health conditions, employees in areas not open to the public or where they are protected by a physical barrier).

• No one can require employees or members of the public to provide proof of any exemption; these are based on rights in the Ontario Human Rights Code

• Signs must be posted at all entrances reminding everyone to wear a mask or face covering.  Click here to download a sign that you can print and post at all entrances ‌(PDF 167KB) 

• The by-law has a fine of up to $1,000 for each offence

Businesses and Establishments that Must Follow the By-law

The by-law applies to enclosed public spaces that are openly accessible to the public:

• Stores and other establishments that sell or offer to sell food, beverages, consumer products, vehicles, equipment or other goods

• Restaurants, bars and other establishments that sell or offer to sell food or drink to the public for on-site consumption or takeout, with the exception of the patrons while consuming food and drinks in the seating areas therein

• Establishments that provide or offer to provide services, including but not limited to professional, counselling, personal care, funeral home, repair and rental services, to the public, with the exception of services related to child care and day camps, care for the elderly and persons with disabilities

• Shopping malls

• Common interior spaces accessible to the public including but not limited to lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities in apartments and condos, hotels and motels, short term accommodations and private campgrounds

• Laundromats

• Concert venues, theatres and cinemas

• Fitness centres, gyms and other recreational and sports facilities

• Arcades and other amusement facilities

• Museums, galleries, historic sites and similar attractions

• Places of worship

• Community centres, including indoor recreational facilities

• Banquet halls, town halls, arenas, libraries and event spaces

• Premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes

• Municipal buildings providing services to the public

• Taxis, limos, buses and other modes of public transportation.

• Outdoor markets and farm stands when physical distancing is not possible.

People Who Do Not Have to Wear a Mask or Face Covering

• Children under five years of age

• People with an underlying medical condition or disability that inhibits their ability to wear face covering or would have difficulty breathing with a face covering on

• People who are assisting or accommodating a person with a disability

• Persons who are unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance

• People who cannot wear a face covering on religious grounds

• Employees and business owners/operators who are within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier

• People engaged in a sport or other strenuous physical activity

• People who temporarily remove their mask to consumefood or drink or when necessary for the purpose of receiving services

• People requiring emergency or medical attention.

Note: No one may require employees or members of the public to provide proof of any exemptions.

Areas Where People Must Wear a Face Covering

A face covering is required when entering the premise, and for the duration of their time inside. The face covering must be worn in any enclosed area that is openly accessible to the public, and for the purpose of offering goods and services.

If your service or activity is not open to the public, a mask or face covering is not required. For example, a private office, shipping/receiving area, staff lounge, stock / storage room.

Providing Service to People Unable to Wear a Face Covering

Not everyone is able to wear a face covering. Please be respectful of people who are unable to wear one due to health, age or other reasons.

Use of Non-Medical Masks in Workplaces

Non-medical masks or face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE), and may not be suitable for occupational health and safety purposes. Employers and employees should consult and follow their occupational health and safety guidelines to ensure that measures that are appropriate to their particular work setting are followed. This by-law does not impact any requirements for PPE that may exist based on provincial or federal order or guidance.

If PPE is not required, employees are required to wear a face covering or mask in enclosed public spaces, with some exceptions such as employees working in an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.

Additional COVID-19 Information

Closures and Reopenings


The Province of Ontario announced on Monday, July 13 that the Hastings Prince Edward public health unit region will move into Stage 3. View the list of businesses and workplaces that are allowed to reopen.

Staff are currently preparing to install the ice at the Wellington and District Community Centre for figure skating, hockey, and public skating opportunities. The ice is expected to be ready for use starting on Thursday, October 1. Public skating is expected to be available in early October. The walking track will also reopen on October 1 to help residents to stay active.

The ice season for the Huff Estates Arena in Picton will be determined at a later date based on demand.

Read the Community Centres COVID-19 Guidelines

Sandbanks Provincial Park — On June 22, Ontario Parks gradually began reopening open campgrounds and more facilities and services including providing washrooms, drinking water, and opening trailer sanitation stations. Facilities such as showers, laundry, group camping, and picnic shelter rentals will remain closed for the season at all provincial parks. Read more about the opening of provincial beaches and campgrounds.

Wellington Beach is open. individuals are required to continue to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres with people from outside their households or social circles. County by-law officers will be monitoring the beach to ensure the public respects the physical distancing requirements.

Shire Hall (332 Picton Main Street) is open 8:30 am-3 pm, Monday to Friday, and the Picton fire hall (8 McDonald Drive) is open 8 am-8pm, seven days a week. Limited services are available at these locations. You can pay a bill, purchase a burn permit, or buy garbage bag tags at Shire Hall. You can buy a burn permit and garbage bag tags at the Picton fire hall.

The customer service counter at the Edward Building (280 Picton Main Street, Picton) is open to serve the public with special COVID provisions. The public must make an appointment for any of the Development Services offered at the Edward Building, including Planning, Building and Engineering. Appointments for these services can be made by calling 613.476.2148 extension 2051.  

H.J. McFarland Memorial Home is allowing visits to occur indoors and outdoors on the patio. Learn more about safety protocols in place to ensure the health and well-being of residents and staff.  

The following recreation amenities have reopened: 

  • Playgrounds
  • Outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis/pickle ball courts, the skate park in Picton, and basketball courts
  • Off-leash dog areas
  • Outdoor picnic sites, benches, and shelters in park and recreational areas

The municipality opened playgrounds across Prince Edward County on Friday, July 17 as part of the transition to Stage 3 of the province's framework for public health and economic recovery.

Physical distancing and diligent handwashing and sanitization are still necessary. This map and full list of public washrooms and portable toilets can help. Playground users are also asked to stay home if feeling unwell or displaying any symptoms of illness.

Green spaces such as trails, shoreline, and boardwalk areas are open for walkthrough access provided that individuals maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.

Public washrooms are open across the municipality. Find the locations of permanent and seasonal washrooms

All branches of the Prince Edward County Public Library are now open with limited hours. Find hours and locations. If you have items checked out from before the closure please return them. No late fees will be charged.

Short-term accommodation rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums, and B&Bs are allowed to resume operations in Ontario starting Friday, June 5 at 12:01 am.

Macaulay Heritage Park in Picton is accepting pre-booked tours only, Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 am to 4 pm. Book online. County Museums is welcoming groups of up to six people, in the same social circle, on these tours.

Wellington Heritage Museum will be welcoming drop-in visitors, Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 am to 4 pm. Access will be permitted based on occupancy limits in the facility and the ability to maintain physical distancing while in the gallery.

Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, Mariners Park Museum, and Rose House Museum will not be open to the public during the 2020 season.

To support local arts and culture organizations and not-for-profit groups during the COVID-19 recovery, the municipality has granted them temporary in-kind use of County Museum sites to host projects and events in a physically distant manner. To discuss bookings, contact Jennifer Lyons at 613.476.2148 extension 2521 or email


The boards of management for the Picton Town HallWellington Town HallSouth Marysburgh Town Hall, and the Mount Tabor Playhouse are currently working on reopening plans. Details will be announced when they become available. 

Provincial Offences Administration (POA) Court is adjourned. All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled until Friday, October 16, 2020 will be rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, you do not need to attend court. This applies to all POA courts in Ontario.

County COVID-19 Help Line

Residents can call 1.833.676.2148 from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday to speak directly with County staff, who can connect them with:

• Volunteer delivery of food and other essentials

• Critical community services

• Transportation options

• Sources of accurate and reliable public health information about the COVID-19 virus 

Impact on services

Municipal taxes

The County is deferring June and September property tax due dates by 90 days to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19.

The tax instalment due dates of June 15 and September 15 have been deferred to September 15 and November 16, respectively. The municipality mailed out tax bill notices in July 2020.

Garage and Yard Sales

Garage and yard sales are once again permitted to take place in the County of Prince Edward.

Council on August 4 rescinded the by-law that temporarily prohibited garage and yard sales, a measure that was taken to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The emergency order issued by the Government of Ontario currently allows public and social gatherings of 50 people maximum indoors (or partially indoors) and 100 people maximum outdoors. People gathering within these limits must distance 2 metres or 6 feet from each other. Anyone hosting or attending an event that would exceed this number of persons at any given time on the property is subject to the penalties set out within the order.

Building Department

Applications for various building-related permits can be downloaded from the County website and emailed to or mailed to: County of Prince Edward Building Department, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON, K0K 2T0

The municipality will continue to accept short-term accommodation licence applications by email at or mail (County of Prince Edward Building Department, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON, K0K 2T0.

Dog Tags

Mail completed dog tag application forms and a cheque payable to The County of Prince Edward to: Shire Hall, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton ON, KOK 2T0.

Clerk's Office

Services offered by the Clerk’s Office are available by appointment. Please call 613.476.2148 extension 1023 or 613.962.9108 extension 1023 or email


Paid parking will be reinstituted in Picton as of July 1, 2020.

Payment is required along streets in Picton’s downtown core and in the Market Lane parking lot. A two-hour maximum for street parking is in effect. The time limit does not apply to parking spaces in Market Lane.

Limited free parking in Picton is available in municipal lots at 55 King Street and on Mary Street. Two-hour parking limits in the commercial areas of Wellington and Bloomfield (as of July 1) are in effect. Parking remains free in Wellington and Bloomfield.

Glenora Ferry

Effective Saturday, June 27, motorcyclists, cyclists, and walk-on passengers will now be permitted. All passengers that are not in a closed vehicle must wear a mask at all times. All passengers in closed vehicles are to remain inside the vehicle and to have a mask available.

Follow the Glenora Ferry Twitter account for updates.

Latest News Releases and Video Update

Ice rink, walking track to reopen in Wellington — Septmeber 4, 2020

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and Testing

The Prince Edward County Covid Assessment Centre located at the Prince Edward Community Centre (375 Picton Main Street) will now operate Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. 

Appointments are required to ensure physical distancing and patient safety. Appointments can be made by phoning or texting to 613.813.6864

On Saturday and Sunday, messages may be left to arrange an appointment the following week. Those requiring weekend testing may call 613.961.5544 to arrange testing at the Belleville and Trenton assessment centres.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is the lead agency for information to Prince Edward County residents on novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Visit the HPEPH dashboard for information about the number of cases in the region. The online dashboard provided by HPEPH provides the number of confirmed and probable case counts based on data recorded in the province’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS). HPEPH is makin every effort to update this list daily by 11 am.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 visit Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at

Travel Advisory

If you have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days and immediately contact Hastings Prince Edward Public Health or your local health care provider if you develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Earlier this month all travellers were asked to self-isolate when they returned to Canada. Effective March 25, the federal government made this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us must make the responsible decision to follow the advice of health authorities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, individuals are strongly advised to call HPEPH at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-257-2803, for further direction and guidance.


The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 is to:

  • Avoid all close contact with people unless necessary
  • Never shake hands
  • Cancel/avoid all travel


Common signs include fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and acute respiratory distress.

As with other illnesses, you should connect with a health care provider if you experience: 

  • A high fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, contact Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at 613.966.5500 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

More information and Resources

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Province of Ontario – Ministry of Health

Public Health Ontario

Government of Canada

‌Download, print off, and post in your storefront public safety signs

News Release Archive

Garage and yard sales allowed in Prince Edward County — August 5

Additional County buildings to reopen July 31 — July 30

New rules allow more friends and family to connect with H.J. McFarland residents — July 21

Masks or face coverings mandatory inside public places in Prince Edward County — July 10

Paid parking in Picton returns July 1 — June 30

Celebrate Canada Day virtually this year — June 29

County partners launch shop local campaign — June 25

Visits to resume at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home — June 18

Beaches and splash pad reopen — June 11

County to bring back tagged garbage collection on July 1 — June 11

Public transit available in Prince Edward County — June 8

Enjoy nature responsibly this weekend — May 29

Update on parking, waste services — May 29

Additional recreation amenities reopen — May 21

Shire Hall and Picton fire hall to re-open May 19 — May 15 

County to monitor parking during long weekend — May 15

Wellington Beach, Sandbanks remain closed — May 7

Municipality to open boat launches on May 8 — May 7

Ameliasburgh and Milford landfill sites to remain open on Wednesdays through June — May 5

Planning adapts services during COVID-19 — May 4

Garage and yard sales temporarily prohibited due to COVID-19 — April 30

HPEPH issues guidelines to support safe operation of community gardens — April 30

Municipal closures extended to July 31 — April 29 

Residents, staff to be tested for COVID-19 at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home — April 22

Mayor names members of COVID-19 economic recovery team — April 21

Municipality committed to financial restraint during COVID-19 — April 21

Team to lead economic recovery from COVID-19 — April 17

Municipal facilities to remain closed until June 15 — April 17

Residents reminded to limit non-essential trips to landfill and transfer sites — April 17

One untagged garbage bag extended to June 1 — April 16

Quinte Trash Bash postponed – April 15

Fire service promotes safe use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer – April 15

Community rallies to support food needs during COVID-19 – April 15

Municipal boat launches closed due to COVID-19 – April 14

Council to meet electronically on April 15 – April 9

Municipality to allow access to boat launches – April 9

PELASS offering emergency child care to health-care providers and essential workers – April 9

Public urged to limit trips to landfills and transfer sites – April 8

Enhanced safety measures remain in effect at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home – April 6

County to enforce accommodations-related COVID-19 provincial order – April 6

Prince Edward County Covid-19 Assessment Centre launched – April 5

County enforcing closure of all outdoor recreational space – April 3

County offers tax payment deferral to residents – April 1, 4:30 pm

Free parking extended in Picton to June 1 – April 1, 9:04 am

County supports expanded tax-filing program as part of COVID-19 response – March 30, 4:55 pm

New website supports ‘shop local’ during COVID-19  – March 27

Playground equipment closed due to COVID-19 concerns – March 26

County to allow one free garbage bag at curb – March 26

County of Prince Edward declares state of emergency – March 26

Municipal offices closing March 24 – March 24

Mayor calls on accommodators to cancel all bookings – March 24

Landfill and transfer sites remain open with additional safety procedures – March 20

Consider local options when possible during COVID-19 pandemic – March 20

Mayor forms task teams to support COVID-19 response – March 20

New work restrictions for staff, councillors returning from travel — March 19

County easing financial burden in response to COVID-19 — March 19

Update on short-term accommodation, building, and fire inspections in response to COVID-19 — March 18

County takes further action to limit risk of COVID-19 while ensuring continuity in key areas — March 18

Council enacts temporary special measures to facilitate COVID-19 response — March 17

Mayor calls special Council meeting — March 17

Expanded public transit delayed due to COVID-19 — March 17

Municipality urges travellers to self-isolate for 14 days — March 16

All Library branches closed effective March 17 — March 16

Committee of Adjustment / Planning Public Council meeting moved to alternate location — March 16

Mayor’s statement regarding COVID-19 update from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health — March 15

All recreation facilities, museums, and town halls closed — March 15

H.J. McFarland Memorial Home is only allowing essential visitors into the facility — March 14

Community health update #4: COVID-19 — March 13

Community health update #3: COVID-19 — March 11

Community health update #2: COVID-19 — February 6

Community health update #1: COVID-19 — January 30