FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Mask rules for air travel to remain in place until mid-September


APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – When the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance on mask wearing for vaccinated individuals, some travelers thought the rules would be tossed to fly. The Transportation Security Administration says not so fast. “The TSA issued a security directive for all persons in the Airports and on flights to wear a mask at all times,” said Rachel Engeler of Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport. Engeler says, for the most part, travelers get it. “Overall I think everybody understands the need for them,” said Engeler.

At Green Bay Austin Straubel International, signs remain up and masks remain provided for anyone entering the building. Local 5’s Eric Richards spoke to travelers about the rule extension. “It’s not like a huge deal putting on a mask,” said Matthew Trotter traveling to California. Trotter is used to it he says. “It’s not a huge inconvenience, but obviously I want it to go back to normal.” Dennis Sutliff was picking up his son, who was flying in. “It’s fine, it’s fine with me as long as I guess people need to talk their precautions,” said Sutliff. Both Trotter and Sutliff say they are fully vaccinated.

Down the road at Appleton International Airport, signs are also still up reminding passengers and visitors to mask up. There are also messages played over the speaker system, reminding passengers that fines and penalties are applied if a traveler doesn’t comply. “The Federal Law trumps all county laws or even store or community policies that people have in place,” said Holly Raab of Appleton International Airport. Raab says they are happy to welcome passenger back after a difficult year. “It was really difficult not having our passengers in here and being able to greet them,” said Raab. All passengers have been in compliance and there hasn’t been any disturbances related to the mask rule.

Weeks ago the TSA extended the mask law, prior to the CDC’s current recommendation. It is unclear at this point if it will be extended after it’s September 13th expiration date. “Just wear your mask until it’s all over with,” said Dennis Sutliff. “I think everyone is tired of it, but we’re all willing to do it to keep everyone safe,” said Matthew Trotter.

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