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Mask wearing by passengers on all Canadian carrier flight will be mandatory as of Monday noon
 
 
 
 
 
 

Canada.ca

 

Transport Canada

New measures introduced for non-medical masks or face coverings in the Canadian transportation system

From: Transport Canada

News release

April 17, 2020              

COVID-19 is a global public health challenge that has changed the daily lives of people around the world, and ensuring the safety and security of Canadians remains the Government of Canada’s top priority.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced new measures requiring all air passengers to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. These measures come into effect at noon EDT on April 20, 2020.

When travelling by air, travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose:

at Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always keep two metres of separation between themselves and the traveller;

when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees; and

when directed to do so by a public health order or public health official.

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. Passengers should follow the current Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidance on face coverings.

When travelling by marine modes of transportation, travellers are encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings whenever possible. In addition, operators of ferries and essential passenger vessels will, when feasible:

provide public messaging to travellers about the need to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during their journey when they cannot maintain physical distance from others, and that passengers could be subject to denial of boarding should they fail to comply.

Passengers travelling by rail or motor carrier/bus modes of transportation are also strongly encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings as much as possible. Passengers may be asked by the transportation operator to cover their noses and mouths when physical distancing is not possible.

Quotes

“Canadians should continue to follow public health advice and stay at home if possible. However, if you need to travel, wearing a face covering is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you, especially in situations where physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained. Transport Canada will continue to ensure various transportation systems adapt to the most effective, preventive measures to protect Canadians.”

Minister of Transport
The Honourable Marc Garneau

Quick facts

Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering over the mouth and nose is another way to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. 

Existing public health and good hygiene practices including physical distancing and frequent hand washing, are still the most effective methods to limit the spread of the virus.

Associated links

Backgrounder on the use of non-medical masks or face coverings in the Canadian transportation system 

COVID-19 measures, updates, and guidance issued by Transport Canada

 

Associated links

 

 
 

 

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Face Masks
Application
9 (1) Subject to subsection (2), sections 10 to 17 apply beginning on April 20, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Exception
(2) Sections 10 to 17 do not apply to the following passengers:
(a) an infant;
(b) a person who has breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19;
(c) a person who is unconscious; or
(d) a person who is unable to remove a face mask without assistance.
Notification
10 An operator must notify every passenger that intends to board an aircraft for a flight that the operator operates that
(a) the passenger must be in possession, prior to boarding, of a face mask;
(b) the passenger must wear the face mask at all times during the flight when they are 2 m or less from another person unless both persons live in the same private dwelling-house or other place that serves that purpose; and
(c) the passenger must comply with any instructions given by a crew member with respect to wearing a face mask.
Confirmation
11 Every passenger must confirm to the operator prior to boarding an aircraft for a flight that the operator operates that they are in possession of a face mask.
False declaration
12 A passenger must not provide a confirmation under section 11 that they know to be false or misleading.
Verification
13 During the boarding process for a flight that the operator operates, the operator must verify that every passenger boarding the aircraft is in possession of a face mask.
Wearing of face mask
14 (1) An operator must require a passenger to wear a face mask at all times during a flight the operator operates when the passenger is 2 m or less from another person unless both persons live in the same private dwelling-house or other place that serves that purpose.
Exceptions
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply
(a) when the safety of the person could be endangered by wearing a face mask;
(b) when the person is eating, drinking or taking oral medications; or
(c) when a crew member authorizes the removal of the face mask to address the passenger’s special needs or unforeseen circumstances.
Compliance — passenger
15 A passenger must comply with any instructions given by a crew member with respect to wearing a face mask.
Prohibition — operator
16 An operator is prohibited from permitting a passenger to board an aircraft for a flight that the operator operates if
(a) the passenger is a competent adult and does not provide, or refuses to provide, the confirmation referred to in section 11;
(b) the operator cannot verify under section 13 that the passenger is in possession of face mask; or
(c) the passenger refuses to comply with instructions given by a crew member with respect to wearing a face mask.
Refusal to comply
17 If, during a flight that an operator operates, a passenger refuses to comply with an instruction given by a crew member with respect to wearing a face mask, the operator must
(a) keep a record of
(i) the date and flight number,
(ii) the passenger’s name and contact information,
(iii) the passenger’s seat number on the flight, and
(iv) the circumstances related to the refusal to comply; and
(b) inform the Minister as soon as feasible of any record created under paragraph (a).
Screening Authority
Requirement — passenger screening checkpoint
18 (1) A screening authority must advise a person who is subject to screening at a passenger screening checkpoint under the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012 to wear a face mask at all times during screening.
Requirement — non-passenger screening checkpoint
(2) A person who is screened at a non-passenger screening checkpoint under the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012, must wear a face mask if advised to do so by a screening officer.
Requirement to wear
(3) A person who has been advised to wear a face mask under subsections (1) or (2) must do so.
Exception
(4) Despite subsections (1) to (3), a person who is listed in any of paragraphs 9(2)(a) to (d) is not required to wear a face mask.
Removing face mask
19 Despite section 18, a person who is required by a screening officer to remove their face mask during screening must do so.
Prohibition — refusal
20 A screening authority must not permit a person, other than a person listed in any of paragraphs 9(2)(a) to (d), who has been advised to wear a face mask and refuses to do so, to pass beyond a screening checkpoint into a restricted area, including a sterile area.

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Although Canada has lagged sometimes on COVID responses, this is one other countries will be watching (US, UK, Germany and others have not made mask wearing on planes mandatory, but I suspect all are heading there.)

 

 

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At the moment there are few international flights operated by Canadian Carriers, as this ramps up I do wonder if the restriction will carry over to boarding a Canadian Carrier in another country.  Again it will be interesting to see how this does or doesnot evolve.  

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I have a quickie question. At YYZ, is the US granting entry to Canadian residents ( non-US)?

Follow-up question....how does one know whether the AC flight to MCO or FLL actually operate on a given day?

And....in keeping with the thread...imo, everyone with access to a mask should have been wearing it in public since March 15th or earlier. And that does NOT exclude aircraft.

 

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3 hours ago, UpperDeck said:

I have a quickie question. At YYZ, is the US granting entry to Canadian residents ( non-US)?

Follow-up question....how does one know whether the AC flight to MCO or FLL actually operate on a given day?

My understanding is that Canadians can enter the US only for essential travel currently.   I think I saw on the news today that this would be the case for the next 30 days at least.  I don't know how CBP determines whether one's travel meets the definition of essential.

AC is operating about 3 flights per week to both MCO and FLL right now.  If a flight shows as for sale on the website it is intended to operate, but schedules and frequencies have been changing often.

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15 hours ago, CanadaEH said:

Person flying required to provide their own? Or airline provided? Who denies boarding? 

Pax need them to go through security , but AirCanada says Travellers who do not have their own face-covering will be provided with a suitable mask at security by CATSA

WestJet simply says that the pax must have them to go through security, no mention of one being provided by CATSA.  

CATSA site does not say they will provide the masks. Here is their latest Alert

Quote

Alert

 

  • In light of the evolving situation with COVID-19, all passengers and non-passengers must place a face covering over their mouth and nose before entering the screening checkpoint. You can use disposable or homemade facemasks, scarves, bandanas, or any type of material that covers your nose and mouth and is secured to your head. If you cannot wear a face covering for medical or health reasons, please let the screening officers know before going through the checkpoint.

So it should be interesting on day 1 of the new requirement.... or at least until some clarification re the face masks is published.

 https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/air-canada-customers-required-to-have-protective-face-coverings-as-additional-safeguard/

https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/westjet-update-17-april-statement-on-face-and-new-repatriate-flights/

. As to denies boarding, that is the gate agent. Backed up of course by the FA's

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49 minutes ago, CanadaEH said:

So basically no consistency. Awesome.

No, it's perfect.  Maximizes the potential for random, arbitrary enforcement and conflict.  Fits right in with government standard such as taking away nailclippers post 9/11, demanding removal of hats and facial coverings (but not always), etc.

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Exception
(2) Sections 10 to 17 do not apply to the following passengers:
(a) an infant;
(b) a person who has breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19;

the other part that will cause problems is the let for those who have a breathing problem that precludes wearing a mask.  What is the criteria for checking that?   Anyone could claim, unless a doctors note is required that they suffer from such a problem (if challenged re no mask). And then of course interline passengers who arrive on a carrier that does not require a mask who try to board a Canadian Domestic flight that requires one (of course not major at this point unless the rule continues once some cross boarders traffic grows)

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20 hours ago, FA@AC said:

My understanding is that Canadians can enter the US only for essential travel currently.   I think I saw on the news today that this would be the case for the next 30 days at least.  I don't know how CBP determines whether one's travel meets the definition of essential.

AC is operating about 3 flights per week to both MCO and FLL right now.  If a flight shows as for sale on the website it is intended to operate, but schedules and frequencies have been changing often.

FA@AC.....I did do a websearch and the report is that CBP does NOT enforce the border crossing prohibition. They allegedly consider the restriction limited to land border crossings. I have a vague recollection that when there was a joint declaration of the border closure, air travel was excluded. I recently communicated with an FA doing an FLL. She said that she spoke to some pax who were Canadians travelling to their Florida condos. She also said that at least two of her trips were cancelled.

I ask only because when I finally am between a rock and a hard place, i don't want to travel to Toronto only to find; 1) the flight is cancelled and then ; 2) be denied entry to the US for the alternate.

 

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25 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

FA@AC.....I did do a websearch and the report is that CBP does NOT enforce the border crossing prohibition. They allegedly consider the restriction limited to land border crossings. I have a vague recollection that when there was a joint declaration of the border closure, air travel was excluded. I recently communicated with an FA doing an FLL. She said that she spoke to some pax who were Canadians travelling to their Florida condos.

 

Interesting, especially as it was announced today that the closure had been extended 30 days.  Perhaps ownership of a condo in the USA would provide the traveller with a reason to declare a trip "essential" if need be, but if things are as lax as that you're probably unlikely to encounter a hassle.  With a couple of states looking to open up next week perhaps CBP will see even less reason to enforce the prohibition.

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US CBP will decide if your travel is truly essential or not. Given their propensity for inconsistent application of the rules, it’s little more than a crapshoot unless you are among those workers whose job is considered essential or you possess documentation which justifies the trip.

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