Transport Canada says if you can’t wear a mask for medical reasons, prove it – or don’t fly

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Non-medical masks have been required of air travelers to Canada since mid-April to prevent the spread of COVID-19.But a ministerial decree published on Friday fills a loophole that may have allowed some leaflets to avoid covering their faces.

Passengers who cannot wear a face mask due to a medical condition must now present an official doctor’s note stating that they are exempt from the rule or else they will be denied boarding.

Since April 20, it is mandatory for air travelers to cover their mouths and noses during airport checks when boarding and at all times during a flight, except when eating, drinking or taking drinks. oral medications. Infants are not required to wear masks.

WestJet, one of Canada’s two largest airlines, said in a statement on Twitter that its passengers have done a great job in adhering to the rule so far.

“Travelers are required to show they have an appropriate face mask before boarding a WestJet flight and will be asked to temporarily remove the mask while their identification is verified,” the company said. “If a guest is unable to provide a medical exemption, they will be refused travel until clearance is produced. ”

The airline said if travelers wanted to travel without a mask, they had to provide a medical note stating:

  • has been issued by a healthcare professional.
  • is on official letterhead.
  • is dated.
  • clearly indicates the passenger’s name and that they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.

There are medical reasons that could make it difficult to wear a mask, from certain lung conditions to anxiety disorders.

As mandatory mask rules rolled out in cities across the country during the pandemic, some groups created and distributed illegitimate medical exemption cards to protest city regulations.

In Edmonton, the city offers exemption cards to those who request them, without requiring proof of a health problem.

Canada’s border with the United States is still closed to almost all non-residents, and Transport Canada continues to recommend against all non-essential travel. International travelers must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Canada.

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