2 people who refused to wear masks on flights face $1,000 fines from Transport Canada

Transport Canada has fined two airline passengers for refusing to wear face masks on board.

The department says the travellers were fined $1,000 each after ignoring repeated directions from cabin crew to put on their face coverings.

Read more: WestJet, Vancouver airport to test passengers for coronavirus in new pilot project

The first incident occurred on a WestJet flight from Calgary to Waterloo, Ont., in June and the second on a WestJet trip from Vancouver to Calgary in July.

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20 in order to help prevent the spread of  COVID-19.

Non-medical masks now required on Canadian flights

Non-medical masks now required on Canadian flights

Under the federal order, all travellers must have face masks and wear them while boarding, during the flight and when leaving the aircraft.

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In addition, travellers must comply with any instructions given by a gate agent or a crew member with respect to wearing a face covering.

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Transport Canada says the fines mark the first time passengers have received a financial penalty for refusing to don a mask.

The announcement comes three days after WestJet announced a strict new policy to ensure passengers wear face coverings, with consequences for non-compliers that include a year-long travel ban.

Read more: Winnipeg man arrested after refusing to wear mask on plane from Vancouver

Since March, at least 973 flights have carried passengers with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Canada, according to figures provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Some 378 domestic and 595 international flights between March 2 and Aug. 24 flew travellers who “may have been exposed to COVID-19” on board, the agency said in an email.

Some flights may have had more than one positive case reported and a given case may have travelled on more than one flight, the agency said.

The figures, gathered through reports from provincial and territorial health authorities, are not exhaustive.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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