Incidents happened in June and July
Transport Canada has fined two individuals $1,000 each for contravening the Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19, the first such fines issued by the federal institution.
The two were fined for refusing to follow the direction from the air crew to wear their face coverings in separate incidents. The first incident occurred on June 14 on a WestJet flight from Calgary, AB to Waterloo, Ont., and the second on July 7 on a WestJet flight from Vancouver, B.C. 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,” said Transport Canada.
Under the interim order, all travelers must have a face covering with them prior to boarding. Travelers must wear their face coverings at all times 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.
When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets, according to Transport Canada. Also, existing public health and good hygiene practices, including physical distancing and frequent hand washing, are still the most effective methods to limit the spread of the virus.
In August, the federal government released Canada’s Flight Plan for Navigating COVID-19, which is the foundation for the country’s current and future efforts to reduce the public health risks of COVID-19 while travelling by aircraft.
In May, Air Canada launched a new comprehensive program for personal safety and enhanced aircraft grooming to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 among customers and workers alike.