San Diego International Airport drops mask requirement following new TSA guidance
SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KUSI) – Mask-wearing requirements on transit operations were thrown into doubt Monday when U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Florida issued a ruling saying the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exceeded its authority by mandating face coverings on mass transportation.
Most major airlines — including Southwest, Delta, American and United — quickly made mask-wearing optional in response to the ruling. The Transportation Security Administration also announced that it would no longer enforce the mask rule at airports.
According to Sabrina LoPiccolo, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Airport Authority, masks remain optional while traveling through San Diego International Airport for both passengers and employees.
“Our primary goal is to ensure the health and safety of the traveling public,” she told City News Service. “We will continue to comply with TSA guidance on masking. At this time, TSA’s mask mandate is not in effect.”
Mark Olson, MTS’ director of communications, said the agency would have an update later Tuesday afternoon.
The ride-hailing service Uber also dropped its mask mandate for drivers and passengers, saying face coverings are still recommended. Lyft had not yet issued any changes in its masking policy.
The CDC first issued an order mandating masks on public conveyances in January 2021, saying “traveling on public transportation increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.”
“Air travel often requires spending time in security lines and busy airport terminals,” the agency stated. “Travel by bus, train and other conveyances used for international, interstate or intrastate transportation poses similar challenges.”
Sabrina Lopiccolo, Senior Communications Specialist at the San Diego County Airport Authority, joined KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries on “Good Evening San Diego” to discuss details of the airport’s new mask policies.