Anyone flying in and out of Canada must now wear a face mask

New rules mean all passengers must wear non-medical face coverings from Monday

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 02: An Air Canada worker waits for travelers at a nearly-empty O'Hare International Airport on April 2, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The airport, which typically serves 8.2 million passengers a month, has closed two of its seven runways as the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced air travel.   Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Travellers arriving in or departing from Canada must wear face masks from noon on Monday, April 20.

The new measure also applies to anyone transiting through any airport in the country.

Face masks must cover passengers’ mouths and noses.

Ideally, they should be non-medical, because surgical-grade masks are in short supply worldwide. But the rules state that “adequate face coverings” are acceptable, so travellers who already own such masks should be allowed to continue to use them.

A public service announcement for Covid-19 is displayed on a screen at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The airport is now averaging 200 flights per day, down from 1,200 before the Covid-19 pandemic, CTV News reported. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Masks will need to be worn at all Canadian airport screening checkpoints and anywhere in airports – and on aircraft – where keeping a two-metre distance from others is not possible.

Departing travellers must show they have an appropriate face covering with them before they fly, or they will not be allowed to board.

What are non-medical face masks? 

Canadian authorities have outlined several methods of making non-medical masks ahead of the new measures. Courtesy Government of Canada

Non-medical face masks are designed to prevent wearers from infecting others, rather than shielding them from airborne viruses.

The masks must be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material, be large enough to completely cover people’s noses and mouths, and fit securely around their heads or ears.

The new measures do not apply to children under two years old.

The Canadian public health service has instructions on how to make different types of non-medical masks using scraps of material, a T-shirt or a bandana.

Other travellers within Canada are also encouraged to cover their face when social distancing isn’t possible. This applies to anyone moving around the country by boat, train, car or bus.