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Two passengers fined $1,000 each after refusing to wear masks on WestJet flights

OTTAWA — Transport Canada has fined two airline passengers for refusing to wear face masks on board.

The department says the travellers were fined $1,000 each after ignoring repeated directions from cabin crew to put on their face coverings.

The first incident occurred on a WestJet flight from Calgary to Waterloo, Ont., in June and the second on a WestJet trip from Vancouver to Calgary in July.

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20.

Transport Canada says the fines mark the first time passengers have received a financial penalty for refusing to don a mask.

The announcement comes three days after WestJet announced a strict new policy to ensure passengers wear face coverings, with consequences for non-compliers that include a year-long travel ban.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press