Canada Will Require Masks For All Airline Passengers Starting Monday

When travel starts to return it is going to be a whole new reality, with social distancing and cleaning regimes but also new behavioral restrictions and visas, too. These are going to make international travel cumbersome enough to limit it for many people.

Some countries will require current COVID-19 testing certificates. Emirates is already testing passengers as part of the check-in process for these flights. That means getting to the airport early, and if you thought flying was like drawing blood before…

Starting Monday at noon Eastern Canada will begin requiring face masks for air travel.

  • Possession of a mask will have to be demonstrated during the check-in process for all international flights departing Canada or flying to Canada. (That will require physical check-in).

  • Masks must be worn going through Canadian security checkpoints (to protect security screeners)

  • And worn whenever a passenger can’t be physically distanced from others

Passengers are expected to provide their own non-medical masks, and encouraged but not required to wear masks when using other forms of transportation.

Like many jurisdictions face masks are now required in public where I live in Austin. In a sign of the new reality, a story about a arrest for DUI, parole violations, and possession of “41.3 grams of crystal meth, 288.5 white-colored bars of Xanax and 137.5 green bars of Xanax” the charge that leads news coverage? Failure to wear a mask.

(HT: @DavidShepardson)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It appears the worst symptoms from this virus are ignorance and stupidity. If it’s this bad now, just think what it will look like during the next “plandemic”.

  2. Gary,
    i am reaching out to you and all your readers and contacts.

    if you are like me and thousands of fliers, you must have one or many “eye covers” — those items given out in little pouches by all airlines for long flights and/or premium seats, to help sleep.

    in cleaning out a drawer, i found a few and realized that instead of covering ones’ eyes, it is possible to slide it down a bit and cover your nose and mouth (see my linkedin or facebook photos — ( or
    the point is, other than for medical workers and the like, the rest of us who just need to prevent exhales from contaminating the air with potential covid-19 that we may or may not have, these can be worn when shopping or walking around outside.

    your readers probably have some of these hanging around, unused — and i bet every US-based airline that is basically NOT flying now, must have THOUSANDS in inventory.
    they collectively are getting $25 BILLION from the government, so why not get some positive PR by giving them away? in fact, some may even have their names on them = free advertising.

    it would be great if we could get these out to those who have none.

    can you help getting the word to ceos and cmos of airlines?
    suggest a goal of may 1st — and target ‘mayday’ to HELP those in need?
    so — why not try to get these out to the public, say at supermarkets and the like?

    or just forget the whole idea! 😉

  3. “Masks must be worn going through Canadian security checkpoints (to protect security screeners)…” — to protect security screeners? If everyone is wearing a mask, what do the screeners do when everyone looks the same, will we get new drivers licenses and passports with new pictures of us wearing masks? :-\

    I expect better from our brothers in Canadia…

  4. @James N
    spot on again as most your recent posts
    insanity has taken over
    not sure what everybody will do when they tell them there is no need to stand 6 feet away anymore…or that they do not have to line up outside costco, I am sure some will keep doing it…

  5. That comment by Ira Schloss about using the eye covers got my attention, I think that’s a great idea and appreciated that contribution. What about the air circulating in the cabins? Should we expect any changes there? And what an excellent point about the bailout money, why don’t they use that money indeed for things like these eye covers? I never understood how baggage fees ended up becoming a standard practice and an acceptable one for SO many years after 9/11 given that it was just theoretically to compensate for their revenue losses from a single event.

  6. Passengers are required to wear masks because there is danger to other passengers and air crew. In the US, workplace safety hazards are in OSHA’s ballpark. To the extent no specific standards apply, as may be the case for Covid-19, the general duty clause requires that employers furnish to each of its employees a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Is that possible? What steps are required? Will the Trump administration block enforcement?

    The fundamental question for each employer is how many of its employees is it willing to kill to be open for business?

  7. Rest assured, the sheep will line up to meet the demands of their “leaders”. I’m certain if the government told them that wearing a red clown nose would keep away other “dangerous” viruses, a cottage industry would develop overnight.

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