CALGARY -- The Calgary International Airport further enhanced its safety protocols Wednesday when new rules were implemented requiring that all passengers and staff members wear masks at all times.

The new mandatory health measures are in line with Transport Canada’s requirements that a face covering (either a medical or non-medical mask) must be worn when it’s not possible to physically distance from others. 

"We know in the airport there will be opportunities and instances where you won’t be able to keep that distance," said Reid Fiest with the Calgary Airport Authority. 

"So this is another important reason why we brought this in so it’s clear for passengers and employees that they have to wear a mask at all times in all public areas of the terminal to keep them safe."

The new changes are part of the airport’s #FlyHealthyYYC campaign that has seen Calgary’s airport implement several changes to its routine operations such as increased cleaning, more sanitizer stations and temperature checks for all international travellers. 

All visitors to the airport are advised not to enter the terminals unless they are scheduled for travel or work. Anyone picking up a passenger is asked to park at the cellphone waiting lot, until picking up someone curbside. 

Individual airlines like Air Canada and WestJet have also changed the way they do business by blocking the sale of adjacent seats and handing out complimentary wipes, gloves, sanitizers and bottled water to all passengers. 

The Calgary Airport Authority has seen a 90 per cent reduction in passenger volumes since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but Fiest is optimistic there will be a gradual increase in numbers in the months to come. 

"On an average day, pre-pandemic, we would have seen about 24,500 guests depart YYC every day, but at the height of this pandemic we only saw about 500 guests and some days it was fewer," explained Fiest.

"What we’re seeing now into June is about 1,000 travellers every day, sometimes a bit more. So we are doubling our numbers but when you’re coming back from 95 to 98 per cent decreases in passenger volumes, it’s going to take some time to get back."

Fiest adds that Calgary International Airport is expecting 65 per cent fewer guests this year, compared to last year. 

The Calgary Airport Authority is forecasting 6.3 million travellers in 2020, compared to 18 million travellers in a record-setting 2019.