ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the mandate lifted, face masks are now optional at airports, on planes, and on other forms of public transit. The news travels fast, especially at the Albany International Airport, where many travelers were maskless on Tuesday morning.
The TSA is no longer enforcing the federal government’s mask mandate for travel after a federal judge in Florida struck down the CDC’s directive on Monday. This includes airplanes, buses, and trains.
Many travelers said they are happy to doff their mask. “I feel good because I flew here on Thursday and had to wear a mask from Kanas City all the way to here,” said traveler Randall Biggs.
Mike Dunn works at Hertz Car Rental at the Albany Airport. He said he’s thrilled. “I can finally come in here without wearing a mask!”
Many incoming travelers said that few of their fellow passengers wore face coverings while flying Tuesday morning. “A few. Not as many people as you think now that it’s lifted. A lot of people are taking advantage of not having to wear it.”
Even after a federal judge struck down the national mask mandate for airplanes and other public transit, the Biden Administration is still encouraging travelers to wear one. However, there will not be any consequences for those who decide to lose the mask.
Off-camera, some people said they think the mask mandate should still be in effect for travelers. Some want to keep their mask on, saying they like the idea that the mandate is optional. “I want to wear it because I want to protect my family and my friends,” said traveler Susan Parsons.