Taking a cue from the airline industry, Via Rail is now requiring train passengers to wear a mask to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
This is necessary as the economy gradually reopens and Via Rail sees an increase in ridership, says the rail passenger service.
With the new policy, riders will be required to wear a mask at all times during their trip, including in stations and at boarding. The only exception is when eating or drinking.
Masks will also be mandatory for customer-facing employees.
Passengers with medical conditions resulting in trouble breathing unrelated to COVID-19, infants under two years old and small children, or anyone unable to remove a mask without assistance will not be required to wear one.
While riders are encouraged to bring their own masks, Via will have a limited number of disposable masks available if they do not have one at boarding.
In addition to this measure, Via has introduced enhanced health and safety protocols, including increased cleaning, pre-boarding screening of travellers, modified on-board services and reduced capacity in each car to allow for greater physical distancing.
As well, Via will deny boarding to passengers who are experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or have been refused travel in the last 14 days due to medical reasons related to COVID-19.