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Airlines Now Calling for Mandatory Mask-wearing on Flights, at Airports

Photo source: Prague Airport

Photo source: Prague Airport

In efforts to get planes off the ground and people traveling, airline companies may soon be implementing mandatory mask-wearing on flights as a response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Canada is the first country to do so requiring since Monday that all travelers by air cover their faces while flying and during airport screening. The measure applies to ferry travel also. Transport Canada, responsible for the country’s transportation policies and programs, produced a poster with relevant guidelines according to which passengers’ mouths and noses must be covered at all times while flying, during airport screening, and at other times when people crowd together.

Passengers who do not have a suitable mask will be denied boarding and may face fines of up to 5,000 Canadian dollars, according to reports.

Besides Canada, German airlines and airports are also mulling the mandatory use of masks at all times in the airport, at screening, on board the plane. The measure, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, is expected to be in place for at least six weeks. Passengers will also be required at check-in to declare good health and that they are Covid-19 free.

Malaysia Airlines also announced this week that passengers would be required starting tomorrow (April 23) to produce and wear masks at check-in, during boarding, on board the aircraft, during disembarkation and at baggage collection points.

Another suggested measure – to be enforced by EasyJet once Covid-19 lockdown has been lifted – is leaving a seat empty between travelers on board flights to ensure social distancing. German carriers said no to this option.

Italy, the US, France, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic have all implemented compulsory mask-wearing regulations for outdoor settings, including while shopping.

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