Face Masks Mandatory For Air Travellers, Says Federal Gov't; AC Supports Move

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Anyone arriving to or departing from a Canadian airport will need to cover their nose and mouth with a non-medical mask, or else risk not being allowed to continue on their journey.

The federal government announced this new rule as an additional measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. It comes into effect at noon on April 20, Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s office said in a statement Friday.

"Aviation passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will also be required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process otherwise they will not be allowed to continue on their journey,” the government said.

Travellers will be required to wear the masks during screening, check-in, boarding, when directed by public health or airline officials, and other instances where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The government is also encouraging travellers on ferries, buses and trains to wear masks.

Where feasible, Transport Canada said ferry operators should tell passengers they need to cover their faces when they can’t keep an adequate distance away from others  — and that they could be denied boarding if they don’t comply.

On buses and trains, Transport Canada said passengers may be asked by the operator to cover their noses and mouths in situations where passengers can’t maintain sufficient space from each other.

Face-Covering Mandatory For Air Canada Pax

Following Transport Canada's directive, Air Canada released a statement affirming that it is making the face-covering practice mandatory as an additional safeguard for its customers and crew. 

AC says that travellers who do not have their own face-covering will be provided with a suitable mask at security by CATSA.

Customers will be asked to lower their masks to facilitate full ID checks as required by Canadian regulations at check-in. While on board, customers will be required to wear their face coverings, in accordance with the Ministerial Directive and in accordance with the directions from the cabin crew. 

Customers may bring their own face covering which may include a cloth mask, scarf or similar item. 

Air Canada has also implemented physical distancing measures where possible during boarding and where feasible, on-board its aircraft, with as few people sitting next to one another as possible. The airline recommends customers check-in online or via the Air Canada App prior to arriving at airports to minimize social contact at airport check-in areas.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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