September 4, 2020 Ottawa Transport Canada
Canadians have the right to feel safe while flying during a global pandemic, which is why the Government of Canada has mandated a number of health precautions to keep travelers safe.
As a result of its investigations, Transport Canada has issued the first fines in Canada for contravening the Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19.
Two individuals have been fined $1,000 each for refusing to follow the direction from the air crew to wear their face coverings.
- The first incident occurred on June 14 on a WestJet flight from Calgary to Waterloo, Ontario.
- The second incident occurred on July 7 on a WestJet flight from Vancouver, to Calgary.
In both incidents, the individuals were directed repeatedly by the air crew to wear their face coverings during the flights and in both cases, the individuals refused.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government of Canada, public health authorities, and the Canadian aviation industry -- including operators, airports and labour groups – have worked collaboratively to implement measures to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the travelling public.
Under the interim order, all travelers must have a face covering with them prior to boarding. Travelers must wear their face coverings at all time while boarding, during the flight and from the moment the doors of the aircraft are opened until the person enters the air terminal building when they are two metres or less from another person. Certain exemptions do apply, such as a while eating, drinking and taking oral medicine.
All travelers must also comply with any instructions given by a gate agent or a crew member with respect to wearing a face covering.