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San Antonio International Airport officials, travelers, and airlines react to mask mandate being voided

The airport said the TSA will not enforce a mask mandate, and some airlines will make masks optional, though they are strongly recommended.

SAN ANTONIO — After a federal judge rules over the federal mask mandate change, the San Antonio International Airport says effective immediately masks are not required. The airport sent the following statement to KENS 5.

"In accordance with today's federal court ruling to overturn the mask mandate in airports on commercial aircraft and public transit and the Transportation Security Administration's decision to rescind the mask directives. Effective immediately, masks are not required at the San Antonio International Airport. SAT will work with its stakeholders and partners to ensure the message is shared with travelers."

A Florida federal judge ruled travelers do not have to wear face coverings inside airplanes and other public transit.  The White House called the decision disappointing, and it is not clear if the feds will appeal the judge's ruling. In the meantime, the TSA said it will not enforce the mandate. 

On Monday, the majority of travelers at the San Antonio International Airport were wearing masks. However, Jane Smith and her husband applaud the ruling.

"I think it is about time," she said. I think it is time we get on with living our life."

I love it," her husband said. I don't have to wear this thing."

Nurse Jason Rhoades feels the same.

"I feel like COVID is on the major decline and I think it is an appropriate time to lift the ban on masks," she said.

"Okay, I agree it is about time,” Derrick Rouen said.  If the airlines are going to mandate it themselves then we have the choice to fly that airline or not fly that airline."

KENS 5 did speak with travelers who are still proceeding with caution.

"There is still that transmissibility factor where I might be okay,” Ashley Muehlenweg said. But someone else might not be. So, I think until we get that point where it more common for everyone to be okay maybe we should still probably be wearing them."

KENS 5 reached out to VIA as well about the ruling, and they sent the following statement:

"VIA will continue to follow the guidelines provided by the CDC and the federal government, including the order requiring masks for all customers and employees of public transportation through May 3. until we receive different or additional instruction about this rule, we will enforce the mask mandate for all VIA vehicles and facilities. We thank our customers and employees for their cooperation during this challenging time for our community and ask everyone to continue to prioritize the health and safety of our families, friends, and co-workers."

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