TORONTO FILM FEST REVERSES CONTROVERSIAL FACE MASK POLICY

The U-turn coincides with a surge in new coronavirus cases in Ontario and a social media backlash.

TIFF (Photo by Brian de Rivera Simon/Getty Images)

The U-turn coincides with a surge in new coronavirus cases in Ontario and a social media backlash.

The Toronto Film Festival has changed its controversial policy on face masks in its theaters on the eve of its virtual 2020 edition.

TIFF will now require fest-goers to wear face coverings during all in-person movie viewing at its Bell Lightbox multiplex. Fest organizers cited a surge in new COVID-19 cases in Ontario for the U-turn on an earlier mask-optional policy that allowed fest-goers to decide if they wear a face covering “when seated in-cinema.”

The change of tack also follows The Hollywood Reporter on Sept. 8 reporting on TIFF’s mask optional policy for movie screenings, which had raised concerns, including on social media, for an increase in COVID-19 infections in the city.

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