Title: “Regulation of Wearing Masks in Public Spaces in Ottawa”


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Background: COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, and has caused a total of 5373 cases including 297 deaths to date in Ottawa alone. The transmission of the novel COVID-19 is facilitated by droplets or saliva of people infected by the virus. It has been supported by numerous scientific evidence that wearing masks or face coverings in public spaces can help protect others and prevent community transmission. Increasing evidence indicates that wearing a mask is a crucial added measure in reducing the spreading of COVID-19, recognizing that people without symptoms may be infectious and that there’s a higher risk for transmission in indoor settings.



At the beginning of the pandemic, public health agencies didn’t stress the importance of wearing masks in public spaces, which led to a lack of awareness of the risk that COVID-19 can pose on members of society and the public health system. Some members of the public act irresponsibly by showing up in public spaces without wearing masks. This practice may lead to large-scaled transmission and will put many people in danger. Recently, during the reopening phase in Ontario, some people mistook the signal as neglecting necessary protective measures like wearing masks and strictly following social distancing, which leads to the rebound of the pandemic. On the other hand, showing up in public without masks can be an involuntary act.  The biggest problem in some areas is shortage of masks. People may not have access to masks due to the short supply of masks or financial reasons. In this case, people with jobs that require frequent contact with customers would undertake more risk than the general public.



  1. Introducing the regulation of wearing masks in public spaces

As a temporary law, people should know the reason and time limit from officials. The government and institutions have the responsibility to propose the right method of wearing a mask through different channels, for example: social media platforms and notice in public areas.  Proposing for temporary application requiring that masks be worn in certain prescribed spaces to limit the spread of COVID-19. To popularize the health hazard and fatality rate of coronavirus may prevent face exposure in enclosed public places.


  1. Enforcing the regulation through Monetary Penalties

The government empowers institutions to fine people who stay in enclosed public spaces and refuse to follow procedures to wear masks between $200-$400, which includes a victim surcharge.



The main objective of this project is to reduce the number of the infected caused by COVID-19. The intended result is to control the spread of the pandemic and help the whole society back to normal, which can significantly reduce the economic loss.

The study is also aimed at giving monetary value to benefits, such as the reduced medical expenditures, and compare that value to the monetary value of the costs. We wish to analyze the cost and benefit for both the consumers, producers of masks and from this determine if the net benefits outweigh the net costs. A conclusion will then be drawn from this on whether to push the policy forward.


Expected costs and benefits:


  • The cost of importing/producing masks as the shortage occurs
  • Implementing the Monetary Penalty
  • Advertising the adverse reaction of not wearing masks
  • Extra security expense
  • Recycling the discarded masks


  • Sales increase for manufacturers
  • Reducing infection rate and then the medical expenditures
  • Reducing government expenditure on subsidies


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