Masks no longer required at Salt Lake City Int’l Airport
SALT LAKE CITY — Travelers at the Salt Lake City International Airport reacted to the news that masks are no longer required to fly following a ruling from a federal judge in Florida.
“I am thrilled,” said traveler Sara France. “My whole family is thrilled. It was starting to feel silly wearing a mask at the airport when all other mandates had been lifted. I travel a lot, and I am happy to not have this burden anymore.”
Just last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the transportation mask mandate that was originally set to expire on April 18 through May 3 — allowing officials to take more time to study the BA.2 subvariant of COVID-19.
However, on Monday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the federal mask mandate on planes, trains, buses and other modes of public transportation is “unlawful.”
France, who is a photographer, traveled consistently throughout the pandemic.
“It’s been two years of flying with a mask. I don’t have a problem if someone still wants to wear a mask. I say whatever you’re comfortable with, go for it. But I am just glad I am at least given the choice and option to do what is right for me and for my family,” France said.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. carriers were transporting record numbers of passengers — about 2.5 million daily. Those numbers plummeted during 2020 and 2021.
“I still plan to wear a mask when flying,” Janae Lutz said. “It’s not an inconvenience. For health reasons, I appreciate the mask, especially in tight, indoor spaces.”
Families greeted loved ones at the airport Monday. The Haider Family from Evanston, Wyoming, welcomed their daughter home from a faith mission.
“We will be so happy when she walks through those doors,” Jenny Haider said. “We live in Wyoming. We have been without mask mandates for a long time now, and we’re just fine.”
As locals adjust to another change with masking, the Haider family was just excited to be reunited.
It takes airlines 24 to 48 hours to put new procedures in place and tell employees about them. Passengers should check with airlines for updates about travel requirements.
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