Passengers flying through, to or from Canada will now be required to wear a non-medical face mask or some type of face covering while traveling by plane, according to an announcement by Transportation Minister Marc Garneau.
Travelers must prove that they have some type of covering for their mouth and nose or they will not be able to continue their travels, according to the announcement. The new measures take effect at noon on Monday.
"Canadians should continue to follow public health advice and stay at home if possible. However, if you need to travel, wearing a face covering is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you, especially in situations where physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained," Garneau said.
Travelers will be asked to wear face masks or coverings at Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always maintain 6 feet (2 meters) between themselves and the traveler; when travelers cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees; or when directed to do so by a public health order or public health official.
People traveling by boat, trains or buses "strongly encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings as much as possible," according to the announcement.
Air Canada said in a statement they have already been "strongly recommending" passengers to wear some sort of face covering since early April.
"Customers will be asked to lower their masks to facilitate full ID checks as required by Canadian regulations at check-in," Air Canada's statement read. "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."
Travelers should follow the Public Health Agency of Canada's guidance on face coverings, the announcement said.