‘It feels great’: Utahns react to the dropped mask mandate for travel

Apr 19, 2022, 12:07 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 1:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been less than 24 hours since a federal judge struck down the mask mandate for all public transportation, including airports.

That means you don’t have to wear a mask if you don’t want to.

Most people who spoke to KSL TV’s Tamara Vaifanua at the Salt Lake City International Airport agree with the ruling and are gladly ditching their masks, while health leaders questioned the timing of this decision.

Things look very different inside the Salt Lake City International Airport.

“If you look around at the airport, not many people are wearing masks,” said airport spokesperson Nancy Volmer.

As of Monday evening, face masks are now optional in airports and onboard aircraft.

“People will not be asked to wear masks. If they would like a mask, we certainly have masks that we’ll provide.”

Travelers we talked to say it’s long overdue.

“It feels great. Awesome absolutely incredible,” said Marlon Martinez.

Luis Perez says it’s a sign of things getting back to normal.

“I think when the number started coming down and more and more people got vaccinated, I think they should have gotten rid of it already sooner.”

The Utah Transit Authority announced this morning they’ll no longer require riders to wear masks on public transit.

“In response to the federal court ruling, #UTA is no longer requiring masks to be worn on our system. We continue our enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures, and will keep providing masks on our buses and trains for riders who wish to use them.”

UTA drops mask requirement for trains and buses

Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious diseases physician with Intermountain Healthcare, was surprised the mask mandate was dropped at this point.

He said cases are rising on the East Coast due to the BA.2 COVID-19 subvariant and could spread to other parts of the country.

“People should rightfully be concerned especially those that are immunocompromised. Those that are elderly and those that haven’t been vaccinated,” Stenehjem said.

He says if travelers don’t feel comfortable making the change, there are ways to mitigate risks of infection – including getting vaccinated.

“You can still wear a mask that is still something you can choose to do,” he said.

“It’s an individual choice. You want to wear it fine,” said Martinez.

Passengers may want to check with airlines to see if there are travel updates – for example, United is requiring masks on some of their international flights.

These airlines are making masks optional after mandate struck down

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @https://twitter.com/jellis9...
Josh Ellis

Suspect arrested in connection to ritualistic child sex abuse investigation

The Utah County Sheriff's Office announced a suspect has been arrested in connection with a ritualistic child sex abuse investigation.
12 hours ago
Madison Swenson

Ramp closed in Salt Lake City after semi carrying tar overturns

One person was taken to the hospital Wednesday after a semi-truck hauling tar rolled in Salt Lake City.
12 hours ago
(Chopper 5/KSL TV)...
Logan Stefanich, KSL.com

Nodding to the past, looking to the future. Utah’s Kennecott again mining copper underground

The Kennecott Copper Mine has been a fixture of the Salt Lake Valley for over 100 years and on Tuesday, the mine announced that it will be moving mining operations underground in its next step to extract copper.
12 hours ago
Zachary Crane and Gabriella Arnold, two students who had their tests destroyed....
Debbie Worthen

High school students retake AP tests after school mix-up destroyed them

Two dozen Green Canyon High School students in North Logan won’t get credit for AP tests they took last May as the tests were mistakenly destroyed in transit.
2 days ago
Photo illustration (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Your credit card can up your interest rate without telling you

If your credit card company raises your interest rate even just a little bit, it could have a significant impact on how long it takes you to get out of debt. A relatively new law means your credit card company can do just that and they do not even have to give you the heads up.
2 days ago
Police closing the road of Mountain View Corridor and 9000 South after an accident. (UDOT)...
Michael Houck

Three-vehicle crash closes Mountain View Corridor, one passenger ejected

Police closed a portion of Mountain View Corridor after a three-vehicle crash Tuesday night.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
‘It feels great’: Utahns react to the dropped mask mandate for travel