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Garneau expands required use of masks on planes, trains, ships; Feds to work with provinces on transit

Last Updated Jun 4, 2020 at 8:08 am PDT

FILE - A woman wears a face mask at YVR. (CityNews)

Face coverings will be required on planes, trains, ships to reduce the spread of COVID-19 starting Thursday

The change comes into effect at noon, 9:00 a.m. PST

Feds to discuss practices for use of PPE for trucking, motor coaches, transit with provinces, territories, industry

OTTAWA — Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau is expanding the required use of face coverings on planes, trains, ships and possibly transit to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Effective at noon Thursday (9:00 a.m. PST), airline flight crew and airport workers will be required to wear non-medical marks.

Air passengers are already required to wear face masks when travelling in Canada, and the federal government continues to advise against any non-essential travel right now.

However, pilots are exempt from wearing face masks when on the flight deck for safety reasons.

Railway operators will also have to notify passengers to wear face coverings when physical distancing of two metres from others can’t be maintained, or as requested by the rail companies.

Garneau says mandatory face masks will also apply for those in the railway industry.

“Keeping safety in mind, they should also ensure workers – when possible – wear face coverings,” he says.

All railway workers will be required to be given face coverings and ensure they are worn according to risk or when mandated by local authorities.

Marine workers will be advised to possess a face covering that will be worn depending on the workplace risk, when physical distancing can’t be maintained or where local authorities require it.

Practices for the use of personal protective equipment, including masks, will be established for trucking, motor coaches and transit in collaboration with provinces, territories and industry.

“My top concern continues to be the well-being of the transportation workers and the travelling public,” Garneau says in a statement.

“The use of face coverings can limit the transmission of the virus where physical distancing cannot be maintained.”

He adds physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, and other public health practises are still the most effective in limiting the spread of the virus.

Editor’s note: NEWS 1130 has updated the original CP headline to clarify the federal government will be working with stakeholders on transit practices.