Local officials react positively to federal mask mandate for travel

WWNY Local officials react positively to federal mask mandate for travel

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - President Joe Biden has mandated that masks must be worn by all passengers on airlines and at airports across the nation. People who run them locally say this positive reinforcement helps.

Everyone at Ogdensburg International Airport was wearing masks on Thursday. It was the same the day before and the day before that.

“We’ve not had any problem with our passengers, they’ve all been very cooperative, very compliant...They’re as concerned as we are,” said Stephanie Saracco, Ogdensburg International Airport manager.

It’s been that way since spring. That’s when airlines began requiring passengers wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the state began requiring them in airports.

“The state has had a robust plan in place to protect its citizens,” said Sam Carbone, Massena deputy town supervisor.

Now, the air travel mask mandate is in effect nationwide. President Joe Biden signed an executive order covering all 50 states. The industry says the presidential seal of approval can’t hurt.

“FAA mandates for masks on aircraft are the same as the president’s mandates, are the same as the airlines’ mandates,” said Saracco. “It’s been pretty seamless that way.”

Local airports have other measures in place as well. There are forms to fill out for travelers from high-risk states. There’s plexiglass at TSA stations and a lot of warnings.

President Biden’s mask mandate doesn’t only apply to airlines and airports. It also applies to most other forms of public transit in the U.S.

St. Lawrence County Public Transit buses have also had a mask mandate in place since spring. Buses are sanitized between runs. There’s plexiglass protecting drivers and signs telling passengers to wear masks.

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