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New Federal Regulations for Air Travellers

All travellers are now required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings during travel

Starting Monday, April 20, the Government of Canada has announced that all travellers must have a removable non-medical mask or face covering large enough to cover their mouth and nose during their travel through Canadian airports and in-flight.

  • Travellers must confirm that they have the mandatory non-medical mask or face covering as part of the registration or check-in process otherwise they will not be allowed to continue on their journey.
  • Travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose at airport screening points, when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by airline employees or public health officials.
  • Travellers are advised to follow the current Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) guidance on face coverings here. PHAC has included requirements for an appropriate non-medical mask or face covering in addition to instructions on how to use a mask and instructions for making a face covering if you are unable to purchase one.
  • YVR is not able to provide any form of masks at the airport. It is the passenger’s responsibility to have the appropriate face covering.

Transport Canada has outlined a number of exceptions where face coverings must not be worn:

  • Children under two years old.
  • Passengers with breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19.
  • At the boarding gate, after handing documents to the air carrier representative, a passenger will be asked to step back to an appropriate distance and lower their face covering for identity verification. After the verification is complete, the passenger can then re-cover their mouth and nose before collecting their documents.
  • During the flight, when the safety of the person could be endangered by wearing a face covering; or when the person is eating, drinking or taking oral medications.
  • At the Customs-controlled area of the airport. Travellers will need to lower their face covering to have their photo taken at the Primary Inspection Kiosk or when asked to do so by a Canada Border Services Agency officer or a Public Health Agency of Canada and/or provincial or territorial official.

PHAC has stated that wearing a non-medical mask or face covering over the mouth and nose is another way to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. Existing public health and good hygiene practices including physical distancing and frequent hand washing, are still the most effective methods to limit the spread of the virus.

The new federal requirement is in addition to the PHAC measures that are already in place at YVR including: mandating airlines to assess all travellers for COVID-19 symptoms at the point of origin, requiring travellers to self-declare if they have symptoms at border kiosks, increased screening from CBSA officers and more. For more information on how YVR is addressing COVID-19, please visit

More information about the new regulation is available on the Transport Canada website here.

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