LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS)– A significant change in policy in the transportation industry, as passengers and employees of airports and airlines are no longer forced to wear a mask.
A federal judge in Florida struck down the ruling requiring public transportation employees to wear a mask at all times. That means after two years behind masks, airline and airport employees are finally getting the chance to take their masks off.
Brian Belcher, director of the Greenbrier valley airport in Lewisburg, says employees at the airport were thrilled when the news came in that airport employees were no longer required to wear masks, and he believes most passengers will be excited to take their masks off as well.
“I think if you went around and talked to the employees, especially because they’ve been wearing masks in the building and the terminals,” said Belcher. “If you talk to passengers, they’re going to be very happy about that.”
As mask restrictions have slowly started lifting across the country, airports and public transportation were some of the last industries requiring employees to keep their masks on. But now, passengers and staff will now be given the choice to wear a mask or not.
“I think if there’s passengers that feel unsafe they should still wear their mask. That’s encouraged,” said Belcher. “Or if there’s passengers that are sick they should wear their mask, I’d recommend.”
Belcher said he understands that some passengers who may have no problem with masks being off in the airport, may have differing opinions when it comes to an enclosed space like an airplane. But he said recent tests have shown air quality on planes shouldn’t be a reason for passengers to worry.
“During the pandemic, we found out because of testing, the airlines, the air on the airplane is filtered. So it’s probably as clean as any air you’re breathing,” Belcher told 59News.