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TSA extends face mask requirements, WV Airport Directors share thoughts

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - You’ll have to continue wearing masks onboard busses, trains and planes now that TSA has extended the requirement well into winter.

Both West Virginia’s Airport Directors believe the continuing of wearing masks while traveling is the safest choice as cases continue to rise. As many passengers have continued to travel through airports during the pandemic, TSA is asking that you hold on to your masks a little longer after extending the mask requirement to January 18th.

“If it’s something that they see as a mandate we need to continue to do, to continue having people flying and traveling just continuing, then we will accept the mandate and comply,” said NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock.

The North Central West Virginia Airport set an all-time record last month, seeing more than 6,300 people ready to hop on a plane. “We try to keep people as socially distanced when possible, it’s just one of the lessons learned from now a year and a half into the pandemic. Cleanliness and keeping your hands washed,” Rock said.

The Morgantown Airport is also asking extra of passengers and doing more when it comes to cleaning the airport. “We use contract staff to clean the checkpoint, so as customers use it, that checkpoint gets cleaned regularly. Not just the checkpoint, but also the seating area beyond it, so that we’re keeping everything as clean as possible for those traveling,” said Jonathon Vrabel with the Morgantown Municipal Airport.

After seeing a huge loss in funds across the aviation field nationally, Vrabel says if these requirements aren’t in effect, there are less services they can provide, hurting the community overall. Vrabel says, “On a daily basis to maintain the airport and to upgrade it and make it look better, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”

As many people have been fined across the country for not complying with the mask requirement, both directors say they haven’t had any incidents.

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