Source: CHRIS TOMLINSON
A WestJet flight from Calgary to Toronto was cancelled this week after a family was ejected from the flight for refusing to make their child, a toddler, wear a face mask.
Safwan Choudry and his family were removed from the flight on Tuesday after an argument broke out about whether or not the man’s 19-month-old toddler should be wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
WestJet, meanwhile, has claimed that the man’s three-year-old daughter, who was also on the flight, was the one who was not wearing a mask, broadcaster CBC reports.
Lauren Stewart, a spokeswoman for WestJet stated, “WestJet would like to clarify that there were two children, and we were not requiring the infant to wear a mask but did require the other child, who is over age two, to wear one.”
Choudry, meanwhile, has claimed that WestJet staff demanded that both of his children wear masks and that his three-year-old was wearing one at the time.
“It started with my toddler and once we got a mask on her, they turned to my 19-month-old infant and said ‘every person on the plane has to wear a mask or the plane can’t take off,” he said.
“Of course, being desperate to get home, we — despite there not being such a policy — opted to comply until she was crying hysterically, with the crew watching over us, until she threw up, at which point they told us you all need to get off the plane,” he added.
Police then arrived on the scene a short time later and were caught on video speaking to passengers on the aircraft before they and the flight crew evacuated the aircraft.
The incident comes after at least two incidents in August involving children refusing to wear facemasks on flights in the United States, with airline JetBlue forcing a woman and her six children from a flight because her two-year-old refused to wear a mask.
The UK has recently introduced strict measures as well, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government banning groupings of more than six people and stating that those who violate the new rules could be arrested.
The rule that 2 year olds should wear masks is strange as it is acknowledged they are a choking hazard for infants. Many toys are marked not to be given to young children for this reason. Presumably if a child is masked an adult must watch them continuously to avoid harm. You wouldn’t be able to do anything else. If a masked child chokes by accident will the authority enforcing the rule accept responsibility?