GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Federal mask requirements for Americans on public transportation will remain in effect until at least the beginning of next year.
A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that “TSA will extend the directives through January 18, 2022. The purpose of TSA’s mask directive is to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation.”
The current order was originally scheduled to expire on September 13, 2021.
It comes as COVID-19 variants surge across the country, bringing state hospitalizations to the highest number of cases since January of this year. The extension also applies to travelers on other forms of public transportation such as trains, buses, and subways.
9OYS spoke with local Pitt-Greenville Aiport officials about what they’re seeing when it comes to airport traffic. They say the rise in variants doesn’t seem to be deterring people from flying.
We haven’t really seen any difference. Since passengers have been coming back out, numbers have been up. You know we don’t have enough airplanes to get the numbers that match pre-pandemic, however, our plane loads have been more, and we haven’t seen a decline either.Bill Hopper, executive director Pitt-Greenville Airport
Hopper also said they will continue to follow TSA guidelines throughout the entirety of the pandemic. He tells 9OYS they are prepared and ready for whatever COVID-19 may throw at us next. He went on to say that airport staff at PGV, “always carry masks with us and offer them to people if we see them without one.”
Prior to the pandemic, we were nimble, since the pandemic began we’re even more nimble, so as we see it coming along we are going to address it and act appropriately.Bill Hopper, executive director Pitt-Greenville Airport