Travellers going through the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) are now required to wear masks or face coverings at all times while in the public areas of the facility.
All arriving and departing passengers, airport employees and visitors will be required to wear masks or face coverings, but children under two and individuals with medical conditions that prevent mask usage are exempt.
The new requirement is effective starting on Friday, July 3 and comes due to an increase in air service and passengers as B.C. eases into the third phase of its reopening plan.
“The airport remains focused on ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone at YLW,” staff said in a statement.
“YLW is regularly reviewing existing safety measures and will adjust as necessary to combat COVID-19.”
Despite the increase in service and passenger traffic, YLW airport director Sam Samaddar said it doesn’t mean a full recovery for the region yet.
“In our projections, we’ll probably hit about 650,000 to 750,000 passengers in 2020, which takes us to about 1996-1997 levels. It’s going to take us about three years to get to where we were which was about two million passengers in 2019.”
Samaddar added they want to encourage passengers to do as much of their check-in process online as possible to minimize person-to-person contact.