Can’t wear a mask? Prove why – or don’t fly


If you can’t wear a mask for medical reason you should prove it – else you cannot fly, Transport Canada says

Wearing a non-medical mask has been compulsory since mid-April for every air traveller in Canada. Still, a loophole allowed travellers to not wear them if they had a medical condition. Many probably exploited this opportunity for personal reasons. Nonetheless, now it’s official: since Friday, a ministerial order dictates that passengers unable to wear masks due to medical conditions must present an official doctor’s note. In this note, the doctor must exempt the traveller from the rule. Else, if the passenger cannot provide such official note, they will be denied boarding.

The question of daily masks use is now fast becoming global. In Canada, companies do not require infants to wear masks. Moreover, if you are eating, drinking or taking oral medication, you can do away with covering mouth and nose. Many companies, for example Westjet, have also commented on how the passengers are following regulations closely. In a statement, Westjet said: ‘Travellers are required to show that they have a suitable face covering prior to boarding a WestJet flight and will be asked to temporarily remove the mask while their identification is verified’. Moreover, the company confirms that ‘should a guest be unable to provide a physician’s exemption’, the company can deny travel until a clearance appears.

What constitutes an official note that exempts passengers from the mask regulations?

  • A medical professional has issued it;
  • Is on official letterhead;
  • Has a date;
  • Clearly states that the passenger has a medical condition preventing them from wearing the mask.

Certain lung conditions and disorders can indeed make wearing a mask extremely difficult. Some cities, such as Edmonton, are even offering exemption cards without prior proof of a medical condition. Some groups have even taken up to protest against the bylaws by distributing illegal exemption cards.