Rex has announced all passengers must wear masks on its flights from 1 June, or risk being denied boarding.
The airline also said the garments won’t be complimentary so customers must bring their own or purchase one at check-in.
Just hours earlier, Qantas said it would provide free masks to its passengers but the wearing of them wouldn’t be enforced.
A statement from Rex said, “Passengers will be denied boarding if they refuse to wear a mask except if there are exceptional reasons.
“Passengers must wear masks at Rex check-in counters (or worn immediately after purchasing from a check-in counter), at boarding gates, during tarmac transfer both at boarding and disembarkation (including during bus transfers), and whilst on-board the aircraft.”
Rex said it would also aim to keep free seats between separate parties “when and where possible”. In Qantas’ statement, the flag carrier said it would drop an earlier commitment to keep the middle seat free on domestic flights.
Rex national airports manager David Brooksby said, “Rex has already enforced significant changes to minimise the risk of infection, including the proactive and unprecedented measure of body temperature testing of passengers and employees.
“Since early March, Rex has endeavoured to space out seating allocation of all passengers to facilitate social distancing. Unrelated parties will not be assigned seats next to each other when and where possible.”
While it’s not known whether Rex’s statement was designed to follow Qantas’, earlier Australia’s biggest airline unveiled its passenger plan for flying from 12 June.
It includes handing all passengers face masks and sanitising wipes as part of a range of “peace of mind” coronavirus measures.
The new pre-flight measures will see app check-in and self-serve bag drop encouraged, hand sanitising stations at departure gates and lounges, and “enhanced disinfection of surfaces”.
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