A man wears a mask at the Sao Paulo International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

A man wears a mask at the Sao Paulo International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Why masks are required upon entry to airports in Vancouver & Edmonton – but not Abbotsford

General manager say rules provide ‘flexibility’ while following federal guideline

Vancouver International Airport requires masks to be worn at all times within its terminal. So too does Edmonton International Airport.

But that’s not the case at Abbotsford International Airport, leading to some questions among those seeing conspicuously non-masked flyers waiting for take-off.

At the busy airports in Edmonton and Vancouver, anyone in a public space must wear a face mask upon entry. Those rules have been in place since June.

But in Abbotsford, masks are required for those travelling through security and boarding flights, and for those who can’t maintain two metres distance from other passengers. But for those who can maintain separation from others, no mask is required.

Airport general manager Parm Sidhu said YXX has discussed COVID-19 rules with airlines, and that they “preferred this option.”

He said the rules provide some “flexibility” and allow families sitting alone to do so without covering their faces.

Other airports have said their rules reflect federal guidelines. Sidhu said the same thing about Abbotsford’s airport.

The federal guidelines require the wearing of mask in certain areas – but not all parts of an airport terminal. Those guidelines say masks must be worn anytime when a person is less than two metres from another person other than a member of their household. That means mask requirements at many terminals may be determined whether officials think such distancing is possible at their facilities.

Abbotsford officials say they’ve been closely watching to make sure they abide by the changing rules.

“We’re always making sure we’re following the regulations,” Sidhu said.

Last week, Dr. Bonnie Henry said it is now “expected” that masks be worn in all public places.

RELATED: B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

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