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Ruling against mask mandate may affect local travelers

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 11:37 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A federal judge slammed down the federal mandate that requires passengers on planes, trains, and buses to wear a mask.

The mandate was recently extended until May 3. It’s not clear when the masking guidelines on public transportation will change, despite Monday’s federal ruling.

Jones Walton lives in Augusta but flies out regularly for bike races. He says he’s used to wearing a mask on a plane.

“It doesn’t change myself too much for just wearing a mask. It’s just seen as normal now,” he said.

Walton does agree with people having the option to make that decision for themselves.

“Now that everything has died down, there’s not as much of a worry. All the vaccines are coming out. It’s not much of a public danger, I would say. Given the option now, I would say it’s preferable,” said Walton

The Handel family also travels, and they’re ready to ditch the masks.

Bobete and Steve Handel, Mineral Pointe, Wisconsin said: “I’m okay with that. It would make it a lot easier to breathe on planes.”

They also think it should be your choice.

“You can protect yourself against it, or you can’t. You choose to do so, or you choose not to do so. We’re at a point where you’ve made your decision,” they said. “Everybody’s making their decisions or made them. Now we’ve got to move on and get back to life normal.”

For now, signs requiring masks are still up in the airport, and leaders with Augusta Regional say that would be a decision for each airline. For Delta’s statement, for American Airlines’s statement.

Planes aren’t the only mode of transportation affected; the mandate applies to all public transit like buses. In Augusta, that mandate is still in place on buses.

Leaders with Augusta Transit say they are waiting for guidance from the federal level before lifting mask requirements.

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