Air Canada, in its latest round of tightening safety measures, is making its formerly recommended face-covering practice mandatory now as an additional safeguard for protecting its customers and crew. This requirement will apply to customers at various points in Canadian airports, during the boarding process and during flight, especially where social distancing is not possible.
The requirement, effective April 20, follows a ruling issued Sunday by the Minister of Transport of Canada requiring travelers to wear protective face-coverings at various stages of their air travel journey. Pursuant to the Directive travelers will be required to show that they have a suitable face covering prior to boarding Air Canada flights.
Travelers who do not have their own face-covering will be provided with a suitable mask at security by CATSA.
In early April, Air Canada began strongly recommending that all customers wear a face-covering over mouth and nose while onboard. With today’s Ministerial Directive, customers on all itineraries must wear such protection at check-in, at time of boarding, and upon entering the aircraft where social distancing is not possible. 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. Critical medical-grade masks will continue to be strictly reserved for frontline workers.
Air Canada has also implemented social (physical) distancing where possible during boarding and where feasible, on-board its aircraft, with as few people sitting next to one another as possible. Air Canada also 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.