Federal requirement means masks must be worn at every airport in the U.S.
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - As coronavirus cases decrease, more people receive their COVID-19 vaccine, and airports get busier, getting back to normal may seem closer than ever.
But there’s still a lot of rules in place for travelers, especially in airports across the U.S.
Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating masks be worn at all times while in the airport and on an airplane, making it a violation of federal law to not wear a mask at the airport.
Traveling can be stressful, but it may be more stressful if you’re unsure whether traveling is even safe. With masks becoming a politicized item, some travelers are wary of those who may not abide by the rules.
“We’ve felt that our most vulnerable times would probably be in the airport. And that was confirmed,” said recent traveler Ron Jyring.
On the plane, Jyring said he and his wife asked someone to wear their mask, to which the person responded to them with profanities. “Putting a mask on is really minimal if it’s going to help somebody and it’s just kind of discouraging,” said Jyring.
The Bismarck airport does have five Bismarck police officers and one Bis-Man Security officer to ensure at least one officer is working at all times, but enforcement of the federal rules is still not easy.
“They do patrols when they can, but they do have other duties assigned. And there are times where they have to be in a certain location to handle a certain task and they can’t be down patrolling,” said Matthew Remynse, Marketing and Operations Director for the Bismarck Airport.
The police officers provide 24/7 coverage of the airport and the security officer is on site from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Bismarck airport officials said if you see someone refusing to wear a mask, report it to airport personnel.
The federal mask order is in effect until May 11, but has the potential to be extended by the president.
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