Minister Garneau announces new measures for use of face coverings in Canadian transportation sector

From: Transport Canada

To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, Transport Canada and the transportation industry have implemented a layered system of measures, such as increased sanitization, health checks for passengers, and allowing passengers to remain in their vehicles on ferries. However, there are still points in the transportation system where workers must be in close proximity to co-workers and travellers.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced he is expanding the requirements for the use of face coverings by workers and others involved in the transportation system, to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

This approach for workers complements recent regulations and guidelines for passengers to use face coverings in certain circumstances when travelling by air, marine and rail to reduce the risk of the virus transmission. It also puts in place a more a comprehensive approach for face coverings that strengthens the protection of everyone involved in the transportation system.

The measures will be implemented through a combination of mandatory orders and guidance:

Aviation

  • Expand the existing face covering / non-medical mask requirements beyond passengers to include some flight crew and airport workers.
  • These measures come into effect at noon EDT on June 4, 2020.

Marine

  • Issue guidance recommending that all workers in the marine transportation sector have in their possession a face covering, and recommend that face coverings be worn using a risk-based approach specific to the unique circumstances of the workplace, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and/or when local authorities require it.

Rail

  • Issue guidance requiring rail operators to notify passengers that they will be asked to wear a face covering when physical distancing of two metres from others cannot be maintained, or as requested by rail operators.
  • Provide or make accessible a face covering to all workers in the rail industry.
  • Ensure a face covering be worn by workers on a risk-based approach specific to the unique circumstances of the workplace, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and/or when local authorities require it.

Road

  • Establish a set of practices for the use of personal protective equipment, including face coverings in road transportation (i.e., trucking, motor coach, transit), in collaboration with provinces, territories and industry.

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.

Where physical distancing of two metres from others cannot be maintained, the use of face coverings can play a key role in limiting transmission of the virus. These measures will better protect everyone involved in the transportation system: passengers, support workers, customers, and essential transportation workers, who ensure the system continues to function.

Quotes

“My top concern continues to be the wellbeing of the transportation workers and the travelling public. The measures we are putting in place today will further reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 for transportation workers and passengers. The use of face coverings can limit the transmission of the virus where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Transport Canada will continue to ensure various transportation systems adapt to the most effective, preventive measures to protect Canadians.”

Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau

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