TIFF Under Fire for Making Masks Optional During Screenings

"Patrons may remove their masks once they are sitting in their assigned in-cinema seats"
TIFF Under Fire for Making Masks Optional During Screenings
Unlike many other festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival will be doing some of its screenings in-person this year, and now it is receiving criticism over its policy that masks will not be compulsory during in-theatre screenings.

Masks will be required while patrons enter the building, but TIFF policy states that "Patrons may remove their masks once they are sitting in their assigned in-cinema seats."

TIFF's policy continues, "An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending TIFF, you voluntarily assume all risks related to the exposure to COVID-19 and agree that you will not hold TIFF liable for any illness that may result."

TIFF will be limiting screening attendances to 50 attendees per screen, which is well below capacity. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, the festival said that they're following public health guidelines. According to Toronto bylaws, face masks are required in "indoor public spaces" including "concert venues, theatres [and] cinemas." Bylaws allow an exception for dining establishments, grooming services involving the face, and certain fitness activities. There is no stated exemption on toronto.ca for movie theatres.

Naturally, some people are concerned about the move. See some Twitter reactions to the news below.