No mask, no problem at SLC airport
SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re traveling by plane and don’t want to wear a mask anymore, you don’t have to after a a Florida federal judge overturned the national mask mandate covering public transportation.
“Even though Utah is not officially part of the lawsuit the judge ruled on, Utah is affected by it in that the mask mandate is now officially disabled for all travelers,” said Richard Piatt of the office of the Attorney General of Utah.
Masks at the airport have been a controversial topic during the pandemic. But now, if you travel, “no mask, no problem”.
Chantal Krall said she only wore a mask at the airport on Monday because she thought it was mandatory.
“I like to breathe,” she said. “I’m claustrophobic, so it would be nice not to have to wear this stuff all the time. If people feel safe with it, it’s on them. It shouldn’t be mandatory; it should be an option.”
Following Monday’s decision, Salt Lake City Airport said in a statement:
“SLC International is aware of the changes being made to enforce the mask mandate. The airport will continue to provide masks to those who request them and suggests passengers continue to wear masks as recommended by the CDC.”
However, the Utah Transit Authority told FOX 13 News that its the mask mandate is still in effect as of Monday.
Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of lifting mask requirements. Adrian Pina says he agrees they’re uncomfortable but thinks it’s still too early to get rid of the mandate.
“It’s good to keep it on because some people are still coughing here and there. Since everyone comes here from all states, I think that should be a requirement for now,” he said.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s ruling in Tampa comes as she argued the warrant exceeded the authority of U.S. health officials.
The mask’s mandate was recently extended by President Joe Biden’s administration until May 3.
Although the federal mask mandate was overturned for travelers, Utah is actively participating in four other mask lawsuits involving large employers, start-up workers, healthcare workers and employees of federal contractors.
“If you work for a big company, you have over 100 employees, you don’t have to wear a mask,” Piatt said. “If you’re a health care worker, you do. If you’re a starter, it’s not yet known, and if you’re an employee of a federal contractor, it’s not yet known because that they are the subject of an appeal.”
The White House announced it would reconsider the decision, but confirmed that the Transportation Security Administration would stop enforcing a mask mandate.