WestJet is doubling down on its commitment to air travel safety amid COVID-19, announcing Friday it will enforce a zero-tolerance mask policy on all its aircrafts effective Sept. 1. 

The policy, which came alongside multiple updates to the airline’s safety guidelines, mandates that all passengers over the age of two must wear a mask or face-covering while aboard the aircraft. Guests who disobey the regulation will face multiple penalties, which included being denied boarding, returning the aircraft back to its gate to remove the passenger, and a one-year travel ban on any WestJet flight. 

"Canadian travellers and all of our WestJet Group employees are counting on us to keep them safe and it is our utmost priority to do so," said Ed Sims, WestJet's chief executive officer, in a statement. "Travellers must understand if they choose to not wear a mask, they are choosing not to fly our airlines."

WestJet said it also improved its COVID-19 contact tracing procedures and will mandate all its passengers to provide contact information either online or at a terminal kiosk to assist public health officials if an infection occurs. 

"We continue to work collaboratively with our health partners to adapt our procedures," said Sims. "A coordinated approach is essential, and we are advocating for contact tracing enhancements along with the introduction of testing."