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Provincial Mask Mandates Are Lifting But Airports & Airlines Say They'll Still Be Enforced

Do not forget a face covering if you're travelling this spring! ⚠️✈️

Trending Editor
Travellers at Winnipeg and Vancouver international airports.

Travellers at Winnipeg and Vancouver international airports.

While provinces all over Canada are moving to end local mask mandates and restrictions, Transport Canada is not budging when it comes to face coverings on federally regulated planes and trains and in airports.

If you're planning a trip this spring — within Canada or internationally — you're still pretty likely to need some sort of face covering or mask.

The federal government still requires all non-exempt passengers to wear "a mask or face covering that covers your mouth and nose" when travelling through Canadian airports and while on board flights to and from Canada.

Transport Canada says that "air operators must notify each passenger, and receive confirmation, that they have a face covering as early as possible during their journey."

Travellers should cover their nose and mouth at security screening checkpoints, boarding gates, during their flight and at any other time "when asked by an airline employee, a public health official, staff from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, or a Canada Border Services Agency officer."

Those who do not have a mask or face covering may be banned from entering certain parts of the airport and may even be prevented from continuing their journey.

Passengers can also get fined up to $5,000 for failing to comply with masking measures.

So, while your home province or destination may have dropped mask-wearing requirements, airlines and airports will still enforce these rules.

In an email shared with Narcity, a spokesperson from Air Canada confirmed that the company and its employees continue to abide by Transport Canada's requirement and ensure all non-exempt passengers are wearing face coverings.

A representative from WestJet said the same thing, noting that "masks are still required to be worn by guests and employees at all times onboard our aircraft and our zero-tolerance mask policy remains in effect."

Airports across the country are also reminding passengers and visitors that, while COVID-19 restrictions are lifting in some parts of Canada, masking requirements remain in effect inside their facilities.

Toronto Pearson told Narcity that while the lifting of Ontario's mask mandate "represents a hopeful step in the right direction," the airport continues to require all guests to wear masks "with limited exceptions," as the airport is a federally regulated entity.

The same applies at Calgary International Airport where, a spokesperson for the airport said, "Social media and in-terminal digital signage are some of the ways that we continuously reinforce mask-wearing with guests."

Halifax Airport also said that travellers using the airport and associated airlines must continue to "bring and wear their mask in the airport and on their flight," in line with Transport Canada's rules.

While travel measures related to face masks in Canadian airports and on flights have not changed, other public health rules related to travel have recently been relaxed.

On Thursday, March 17, federal officials announced that pre-entry COVID-19 testing will be scrapped for fully vaccinated passengers as of April 1, 2022. That means trips abroad will be cheaper for those who are fully vaxxed, as travellers will no longer be required to fork out money for rapid antigen or PCR testing ahead of their return home to Canada.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Helena Hanson
    Trending Editor
    Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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