Minister of Transport Marc Garneau says the rule changes are about 'the well-being of the transportation workers and the travelling public.' (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Face covering rules are expanded on planes, trains and ships

Travelling in Canada is going to look very different — as of noon today.

In an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19, Transport Minister Marc Garneau has announced new requirements on the use of face coverings on planes, trains and ships.

And, he says, new rules are on the way for trucks, buses and other forms of transportation.

“My top concern continues to be the well-being of the transportation workers and the travelling public,” Garneau said in a statement released Wednesday. 

“The use of face coverings can limit the transmission of the virus where physical distancing cannot be maintained,” he said.

Passengers on a GO train west of Toronto are pictured while the train was stopped in 2017. Take a good look. It could be a while before you see anyone riding the rails without a mask, as a result of new federal regulations. (Serenity Palia/CBC)

Here are the changes:

  • Airline flight crew and airport workers will be required to wear non-medical marks, in addition to the existing requirement for passengers;
  • Railway operators will have to notify passengers to wear a face covering when physical distancing of two metres from others can’t be maintained, or as requested by the rail companies;
  • All railway workers will be required to be given face coverings and ensure they are worn according to risk or when mandated by local authorities;
  • Marine workers will be advised to possess a face covering that will be worn depending on the workplace risk, when physical distancing can’t be maintained or where local authorities require it;
  • Practices for the use of personal protective equipment, including masks, will be established for trucking, motor coaches and transit in collaboration with provinces, territories and industry.

In April, Garneau rolled out new rules that — among other things — required that all air travellers wear face masks covering their noses and mouths while in transit.

Those rules also required people flying in Canada to wear masks at all Canadian screening checkpoints whenever maintaining two metres separation from others was not possible.

With files from The Canadian Press, CBC News (Peter Zimonjic, Ashley Burke)

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