Federal order requires face masks for travelers; Dayton International Airport already has policy in place

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A new executive order will require travelers throughout the U.S. to wear face coverings in airports, and on trains, ships and buses. The mandate could impact COVID-19 policies at the Dayton International Airport.

The City of Dayton and the state of Ohio have had a mask orders in place since July, now airport and health officials hope the federal mandate will help create consistency for travelers coming from other states.

“Nine times out of 10 we certainly see people coming and going with their masks on,” Dayton International Airport marketing manager Linda Hughes said. “I think hearing this from the highest office of the land certainly reinforces what we’re doing here.”

As of now, it’s not known how the federal travel mask mandate will be enforced, but Hughes said all airlines at Dayton International Airport already require passengers to wear masks.

“We do not have a mask police, however, as passengers are coming in and they’re going to the ticket counter, the airlines are asking them if they have a mask,” Hughes said. “If not, they will supply them with a mask, and certainly, you cannot get on the aircraft without a mask.”

Miami Valley Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colon said this is something that should have happened earlier in the pandemic.

“You have a lot of people congregating in one place, but also people who have been traveling from all over, so it’s a great place for infections to really jump across the country,” Colon said.

Several passengers told 2NEWS they’re unhappy with the federal mandate, and with how it applies to air travelers when it doesn’t apply elsewhere.

Colon said following the rules now will mean less need for the masks in the future.

“Everything we are doing now is with the eventual goal that we won’t have to do it permanently,” Colon said. “The longer we refuse to accept some of these, the longer our lives will have to be modified.”

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced stricter policies for unruly passengers after incidents, including over face masks. Passengers who assault or threaten a crew member could face fines up to $35,000 or imprisonment.

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