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Via Rail to require passengers to wear face masks as of Tuesday

Last Updated Jun 20, 2020 at 11:23 am EDT

A Via Rail Canada train is stopped at the rail station in Oakville, Ont., Monday, March 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Richard Buchan

MONTREAL – Via Rail says passengers will be required to wear masks as of Tuesday to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 when physical distancing can’t be maintained.

The Montreal-based passenger rail service says it is making the change as ridership increases with the gradual reopening of the economy.

The policy is in line with Transport Canada guidelines for wearing face coverings for planes, trains, ships and public transit.

Masks are mandatory for employees who interact with customers. Masks must be worn throughout trips, except for when eating or drinking and when physical distancing is not possible in stations and at boarding.

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Via Rail says it will have a limited number of disposable masks available for passengers who don’t have one at boarding.

Passengers with medical conditions that result 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.