Air Canada has announced the phased reopening of its Maple Leaf Lounges, now enhanced with new biosafety protocols.

The airline’s lounge at Toronto Pearson D gates, reopened on July 24 to eligible flyers from domestic or international flights. Maple Leaf Lounges in Montreal and Vancouver are set to reopen in the coming weeks.

"We are introducing electrostatic spraying in our lounges as part of our significantly enhanced cleaning procedures for additional peace of mind, and launching new touchless processes, such as the ability to order pre-packaged food directly to your seat from your smartphone,” said Andrew Yiu, vice president, product, at Air Canada in a statement.

“When the Air Canada Café reopens later this year, customers will also benefit from touchless self-entry, a process which we are looking to implement at other lounges. We will progressively reopen other Maple Leaf Lounges throughout our network starting with Montreal Trudeau Airport and Vancouver International Airport by early fall in time for the expected resumption of more business travel.”

Some of the enhanced health and safety protocols include: mandatory face coverings for customers and employees, Plexiglas partitions at welcome desks, food and refreshments pre-packaged to-go and a modified assisted beverage service.

Attendants will continuously clean lounge seating and restrooms, and new cleaning measures include using electrostatic units and medical grade disinfectants. The new lounge services will also offer several touchless features, including presentation of all reading materials, including Business Traveler, in digital format through PressReader.

Canada has pushed back its much-anticipated reopening of the US-Canadian border to non-essential travel until August 21, with the caveat that that date could be further pushed back if US COVID-19 numbers remain high.

In early July, Air Canada’s CEO Calvin Rovinescu made a plea for his country’s border restrictions to ease,  allowing Air Canada to fly travelers from “select countries with infection rates under control” into Canada. However at this time that does not include travelers from the US.