President Joe Biden last week echoed new guidance provided by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention for those who are vaccinated, modifying when and where a mask must be worn and encouraging all adults and youth of age to get vaccinated to battle COVID-19.
The Deseret News and KSL editorial boards sat down (virtually) with Bill Wyatt, executive director of Salt Lake City Department of Airports, Monday to discuss future construction at the airport and what is currently required.
Here are a few quick answers to pertinent questions.
Deseret News: Must patrons of the airport still wear a mask inside terminals?
Bill Wyatt: Yes, they do. And this is a federal mandate from the TSA. So we are still subject to all of the protocols — wearing a mask, social distancing, to the extent that you can. ... This mandate is currently set to expire in September. I’ll be surprised if it lasts that long.
DN: Are masks still required on all flights?
BW: It is required by the FAA. ... They used their federal authority to require this and actually at all transportation facilities and hubs and on airlines.
DN: Have you had conversations at this point with TSA as it relates to masks based on last week’s announcement by the president, and also the CDC about what happens next?
BW: We typically work through Airports Council International, or AAAE (American Association of Airport Executives), the two big trade associations who are having those conversations. I’m on a weekly (call) ... with the 30 largest hubs (who) get together on the phone and talk about these things. There’s a lot of conversation going on about this. I should mention that the International Association of Flight Attendants is opposed to eliminating the mask mandate.