The new measure will come into effect at noon Monday, the office of Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced in a statement on Friday.
Anyone arriving or departing at a Canadian airport without a non-medical mask or other form of facial coverage “will not be allowed to continue their journey”.
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“Canadians should continue to follow public health advice and stay at home if possible,” said Garneau. “However, if you have to travel, wearing a face cover is one more measure you can take to protect others around you, especially in situations where physical distance guidelines cannot be followed. “
Travelers will be required to wear masks during screening, when directed by public health officials or airlines, and in other cases where physical distance cannot be maintained.
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The government also encourages travelers on ferries, buses and trains to wear masks.
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Whenever possible, Transport Canada has stated that ferry operators should tell passengers that they must cover their faces when they cannot keep their distance from others – and that they may be refused boarding if they do not comply.
On buses and trains, Transport Canada has stated that the operator may require passengers to cover their noses and mouths in situations where passengers cannot maintain sufficient space in relation to each other.
Canadian health officials shifted gears on the issue of non-medical masks earlier this month after casting doubt on the value of doing so.
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Canada’s highest public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that people who do not have symptoms of the new coronavirus can wear non-medical masks when in public as an “extra measure” to protect them from harm. other people in a pandemic.
There is growing evidence that people infected with COVID-19 are able to transmit the virus before they develop symptoms, she said.
Likewise, added Tam, there is new evidence that some people who have the virus but never develop symptoms are also able to transmit the virus.
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“Wearing a non-medical mask, even if you have no symptoms, is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you in situations where physical distance is difficult to maintain, such as when traveling common or maybe at the grocery store, ”says Tam.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has pointed out that homemade masks are not a substitute for physical distance or hand washing and that they have several limitations.
—With files from Beatrice Britneff, Global News
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