Masks, face coverings made mandatory at Winnipeg airport
WINNIPEG -- As travel restrictions loosen across the country and the economy reopens, mask use requirements and recommendations are increasing.
The latest comes from the Winnipeg Airports Authority, though recommendations to wear a mask in all indoor places are likely coming.
Beginning on July 29, all passengers, visitors, and employees at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will have to wear a mask or face covering once they enter the terminal.
According to the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA), this change is being implemented in all public areas of the airport terminal to keep people safe.
“We’ve actually reached a point now where passenger numbers have gone up slightly," said Tyler McAfee, a spokesperson for the WAA. "We’re starting to see congregations of people around the terminal where it’s harder to maintain that physical distancing.”
Currently, anyone in the airport has to wear a mask or face covering any time they can’t maintain a six-foot distance from other people, when they are going through security, and during boarding.
As the economy continues to reopen and case numbers rise in Manitoba, more places are mandating or recommending that masks be used.
Earlier this month, the City of Winnipeg announced transit service is ramping up to its regular pace as of August 2, and masks are recommended for riders.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, said Manitobans can expect to hear more about masks as influenza season begins in the fall.
“When respiratory virus season comes, it’s very likely that we’ll be recommending that Manitobans wear masks in public indoor places," Roussin said on Monday.
Evan Kiz, who was flying to work in Calgary from Winnipeg on Monday, said he makes sure he has his mask on before flying out.
He said while not everyone is on board with wearing masks, it is needed to make sure sickness doesn’t spread.
“Just do it. Even if it's not for you – just do it," he said. "It makes everyone feel more comfortable.”
The WAA said, as of Wednesday, anyone without a mask in the airport will be asked to leave.