Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced he is expanding the requirements for the use of face coverings by workers and others involved in the country’s transportation industry to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Transport Canada and the transportation industry had already implemented measures such as increased sanitization, health checks for passengers, and allowing passengers to remain in their vehicles on ferries. The new measures requiring face masks are aimed at points in the transportation system where workers must be in close proximity to co-workers and travelers, Transport Canada said.
For marine workers in particular, Transport Canada is recommending that all workers 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.
“My top concern continues to be the wellbeing of the transportation workers and the traveling public,” Garneau said. “The measures we are putting in place will further reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 for transportation workers and passengers.”
Where physical distancing of two meters from others cannot be maintained, the use of face coverings can play a key role in limiting transmission of the virus, the department said. 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, it added.
“Transport Canada will continue to ensure various transportation systems adapt to the most effective, preventive measures to protect Canadians.” Garneau said.