Public transportation mask mandate extension leaves travelers with mixed feelings

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Mixed feelings for travelers at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport remain as the Biden administration has once again extended the mask mandate or planes and other forms of transportation for two more weeks.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Wednesday the mandate will end on May 3.

“I think it’s great.”

The extension is something traveler Mark Mattson from Chapel Hill North Carolina is grateful for.

“I wear a mask out in public all the time now and I’m probably not going to stop doing it for a while so I think it’s great that everybody has to in an airport where you don’t have a choice to be around people,” Mattson said.

According to the CDC, the extension came after a rise in cases of the Omicron BA.2 COVID variant.

Numbers remain low in Chatham County.

“I have my own mask so I guess I’m less worried but I think it’s better that people don’t have to breathe each other’s germs if we don’t have to,” Mattson said.

While some say the mask mandate makes them feel safer, other travelers feel they should have the right to decide whether to wear one or not.

“I don’t think it should have been extended,” Chris Terrell said. “You don’t have to wear masks anywhere else, why are we still wearing them?”

The question comes as Chris Terrell is traveling with his family.

Sydney Thomas says they were rushing to make their flight and her mask was an inconvenience.

“We had to like run so the masks just made it more tiring and it was just like a whole commotion,” Thomas said. “I just don’t like them.”

Terrell feeling like COVID has been around long enough to have the option.

“I think COVID has run its course, with respect to COVID of course,” Terrell said. “I think it should be our choice.”

If not extended, the mandate ends on May 3.

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