Air Canada to start requiring temperature checks of passengers in latest coronavirus measure


As airlines start making face masks mandatory, one is going a step further, saying it is going to require temperature checks of passengers before they are allowed to fly.



An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is being towed in as another Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is seen on the ground at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2019.  REUTERS/Chris Helgren


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An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is being towed in as another Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is seen on the ground at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Air Canada said Monday that mandatory pre-flight temperature checks will be part of a new program that will also require passengers to submit to health questionnaires. On board, they will find hand sanitizer in its onboard amenity kit.

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“We have been a leader in progressively introducing new measures in response to COVID-19, such as introducing personal protective equipment for our employees and being the first North American carrier to require face coverings for customers,” said Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Montreal-based Air Canada, in a statement. “We are now the first airline in the Americas to administer pre-flight temperature checks systemwide.”

Air Canada’s CleanCare+ program, due to take effect May 15, is being introduced as airlines have seen plunging patronage due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As COVID-19 has spread, Travelers have been abiding by stay-at-home orders and companies have grounded employees out of fear they might contract the virus on their journeys.

Face coverings are quickly becoming standard attire for air travel. U.S. carriers such as American, United, Delta, Southwest, Alaska, Frontier and JetBlue have all said they would require them. JetBlue and Delta want them worn not only on planes, but from the time that passengers check in at the airport.  

International carriers besides Air Canada are taking steps, too. Singapore Airlines is providing passengers with masks at the airport gate on flights from Los Angeles to Singapore, said spokesman James Boyd.

But if more carriers besides Air Canada provide temperature scans, it could be an extra measure of reassurance. Air Canada said it will use a non-invasive infrared device to measure temperatures. 

Air Canada is also hinting at further measures.

“We intend to continue enhancing Air Canada CleanCare+ where we can with best practices from around the world, including increased use of screening tools, such as blood oxygen level testing, as they become available,” Rovinescu said.


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