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Victoria International Airport rolls out health and safety initiative

Face masks and outside goodbyes are the new normal at the Victoria International Airport (YYJ), where a new awareness program is reminding passengers of the airport’s pandemic safety directives.

TravelSafeYYJ was rolled out July 1 with a goal to inform the public on the new expectations for airport visits.

“At YYJ, the health and safety of our passengers, partners and employees is our top priority,” says a statement from Geoff Dickson, CEO of the Victoria Airport Authority. “TravelSafe YYJ is our commitment that we are doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that passengers and staff feel safe and confident while at the airport.”

RELATED: COVID-19: Flight traffic drop 90% at Victoria airport, only handful of flights arrive each day

Alongside its own enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures, YYJ asks that only employees and travellers with valid tickets enter the terminal – a measure with exceptions for those accompanying a person who needs extra assistance. Passengers are also being asked to collect their baggage and leave the terminal as soon as they arrive. Short-term parking remains free of charge.

The airport will also have dedicated one-way entries and exits, physical distancing floor and seating decals and Plexiglass barriers at check-in and departure counters, car rentals, retail stores and food beverage service counters. Personal protective equipment will be available for purchase.

The terminal now has 60 hand sanitization stations and staff are implementing increased cleaning measures for all high-touch areas.

The airport experienced a 90 per cent drop in traffic after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a handful of domestic flights each day. In March, Canada and the U.S. agreed by mutual consent to close the border to non-essential travel. Those restrictions have been extended until July 31.

RELATED: B.C. recommends no travel outside Canada in coronavirus pandemic


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Nina Grossman

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