SALT LAKE CITY — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an order requiring the wearing of masks by travelers to prevent the spread of the virus which causes COVID-19.
The order requires passengers on all public conveyances (airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, buses, subways, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States, to wear a mask over both the nose and mouth.
While the Salt Lake City International Airport already has a mask requirement in place, the Transportation Safety Administration has implemented provisions from President Joe Biden’s executive order.
“For TSA’s purposes that means if you come to the airport and there is a face mask requirement at SLC but you come to the security checkpoint and you don’t have your mask on, TSA will deny you entry into the screening checkpoint,” said Lorie Dankers, a TSA spokesperson. “They (travelers) must wear a face mask that fits snuggly across their nose and their mouth, they need to make sure it’s not a gaiter or a bandana that in fact it can even be homemade or surgical cloth mask all of those work.”
Per the order, face shields and goggles can be worn as a preventative safety measure, but they must be accompanied by a mask.
“We’re finding the vast majority of travelers are wearing their masks to the security checkpoint,” Dankers said. “If for a chance somebody had not been wearing a mask or additional screening of some sort, our officers would actually offer that traveler a mask for the very purpose of protecting our employee.”
The order went into effect February 1, 2021 at 11:59 EST and is expected to last until May 11, 2021.
Thw CDC put out a list of requirements and exceptions outlined by the CDC:
People are not required to wear a mask under the following circumstances:
- While eating, drinking, or taking medication for brief periods of time
- While communicating, for brief periods of time, with a person who is hearing impaired when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
- If, on an aircraft, wearing of oxygen masks is needed because of loss of cabin pressure or other event affecting aircraft ventilation
- If unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
- When necessary to temporarily remove the mask to verify one’s identity such as during Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening or when asked to do so by the ticket or gate agent or any law enforcement official
The following categories of people are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask:
- A child under the age of 2 years
- A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, for reasons related to the disability
- A person for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations