NWT residents will have to bring their own non-medical face masks when they board planes in order to comply with Transport Canada regulations that take effect on June 8.
“Supplies of masks provided to airlines operating out of Yellowknife by the Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) as a courtesy will soon be depleted,” said HSS in a news release on June 3.
Before boarding their flight, passengers must show that their mask is made of a durable material like cotton and that it can properly cover their mouths and noses for the duration of the flight. Passengers won’t be allowed to board if they can’t demonstrate that.
“This is also consistent with broader public health recommendations,” the news release stated.
Children under two years of age should not wear face masks, according to federal guidelines.
NWT chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola has strongly recommended the wearing of non-medical masks in public, especially in places where maintaining physical distance of two metres is difficult.
Non-medical face masks prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating other people and from landing on surfaces, though they don’t give as much protection as a medical mask.
Non-medical face masks can be purchased from more than a dozen manufacturers across the NWT.
Residents who want to make their own masks at home using common materials can follow these tips.