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Transport Canada issues first fines after passengers refuse to wear masks on flights

Last Updated Sep 4, 2020 at 9:42 pm PDT

Summary

Two people have been fined $1,000 each after refusing to follow COVID-19-related instructions from flight crews

Both passengers are said to have refused to put on face coverings when they were asked to do so

Transport Canada says the passengers were on flights from Calgary to Waterloo and from Vancouver to Calgary

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The first fines have been handed out to air passengers in Canada who refuse to follow COVID-19-related instructions from flight crews.

Transport Canada says two people who repeatedly ignored directions to put on their face coverings while on two different WestJet flights have been handed $1,000 fines each.

The first incident was on June 14, on a flight that was enroute from Calgary to Waterloo. The second was on July 7 from Vancouver to Calgary.

Air passengers leaving or arriving at Canadian airports are required to have a non-medical mask or face covering with them while boarding. They may be denied travel if they can’t show they have the appropriate PPE.

“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,” Transport Canada says in a release. “Certain exemptions do apply, such as a while eating, drinking and taking oral medicine.”

As part of new rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic, passengers are also required to “comply with any instructions given by a gate agent or a crew member with respect to wearing a face covering.”

After reviewing the two incidents mentioned above, Transport Canada says it issued the fines “for contravening the Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19.”