MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 21: Liberal Leader and Cana
Liberal Leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves alongside his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau after delivering his victory speech at his election night headquarters on October 21, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. Trudeau remains in power with a Minority Government. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
  • From April 20, Canada requires all air travelers to cover their faces while flying and during airport screening.
  • It is part of a wave of new restrictions in Europe and the US which makes wearing masks an unavoidable part of life.
  • At least 3 US states require face-covering in crowded environments, as does Austria and parts of Italy and France.
  • Authorities generally do not recommend surgical-grade masks, which are in short supply and are reserved for health workers.
  • For mores stories go to

The government of Canada has introduced new rules insisting that air passengers wear some kind of face covering, part of a growing trend in which masks are becoming an unavoidable part of life.

The measures come into force at midday on Monday April 20 and apply to all trips by air to, from, and within Canada. It is part of a broader response to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Transport Canada said in a press release that passengers' mouths and noses must be covered at all times while flying, during airport screening, and at other times when people crowd together.

The rules call for non-surgical masks - a less rigorous form of protection than those used by health workers, which are subject to shortages around the world.

A poster produced by Transport Canada said that a mask made from a folded t-shirt or scarf would be sufficient.

A poster produced by Transport Canada explaining new rules requiring the wearing of face masks on planes.
Passengers who cannot demonstrate that they have a suitable mask will be denied boarding and can be fined up to 5,000 Canadian dollars, authorities said.

The insistence on masks from Canadian authorities is a part of a host of new requirements introducing masks to virtually every part of everyday life.

The measures are a stark change from just a few months ago, when western health authorities were insisting that face coverings were not an important part of combatting the virus.

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