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Coronavirus: Calgary airport to make face masks mandatory for all travellers, staff

New COVID-19 screening measures coming to YYC Calgary International Airport
WATCH ABOVE: New screening measures are coming to Alberta airports in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Michael King has the details.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Calgary International Airport is enhancing its safety protocols by making face masks mandatory for all passengers and staff.

Effective June 17, masks or face coverings will be required to be worn in the public areas of all domestic and international terminals.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Calgary Airport Authority lays off one-third of staff as travel drops

Officials said the change was made to help keep passengers and workers safe amid the pandemic.

“Our commitment to safety remains our top priority,” said Bob Sartor, the president and CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority.

“As workers and travellers return to YYC, we want them to trust that we remain focused on providing a safe and healthy airport to work at, to begin their journey or to welcome them home.”

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The airport is asking travellers, staff and visitors to come with their own face masks, adding that both medical and non-medical masks are acceptable.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons of a flight-free 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons of a flight-free 2020

The new safety measure was put into place alongside existing protocols, including Transport Canada’s requirement that all customers wear masks at screening checkpoints and during flights when they cannot physically distance from others.

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In recent months, Calgary’s airport has seen several changes to its routine operations, including increased cleaning, more sanitizer stations and temperature checks for international travellers.

READ MORE: New screening measures, temperature checks coming for international travellers who arrive in Alberta

Individual airlines have also changed the way they do business amid the pandemic. Both WestJet and Air Canada are currently blocking the sale of immediately adjacent seats in economy class and throughout the entire plane, respectively.

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Air Canada passengers also currently receive complimentary kits that include hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, gloves, a water bottle and — in line with federal rules as of June 4 — face masks.

— With files from the Canadian Press