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‘Hug Rug’ Makes a Return at Winnipeg’s Airport

March 25, 2022 1:43 PM | News

Hug Rug

The Hug Rug has made a return to Winnipeg’s James Richardson International Airport. (WAA)

WINNIPEG — Airline passengers can once again greet family and friends with open arms at Winnipeg’s James Richardson International Airport.

The iconic Hug Rug returned at the bottom of the escalator in the arrivals hall of the airport on Friday after 736 days in storage owing to the pandemic.

“With restrictions continuing to be lifted, community members are telling us they’re ready to connect again with loved ones,” said Nick Hays, president and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority.

“We can’t wait to welcome back more travellers safely. What a better way to do so than rolling back out the unofficial welcome mat for our province.”

The Hug Rug was originally introduced in 2013 and has become a meeting place at the airport to greet arriving travellers. Its temporary removal was out of an abundance of caution to help with social distancing and to minimize touch encounters.

As spring break begins this weekend, WAA expects upwards of 9,000 travellers to pass through the terminal on Sunday alone — the highest number in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

Related Video: Hug Rug celebrates its 1st birthday in 2014