New travel restrictions going into effect this week means wearing a mask at the airport

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
mask travel

The next time you fly out of RSW, or any airport, make sure you wear your mask.

And, if you’re planning on leaving the country, make sure to quarantine when you get back.

These are just two of the travel restrictions that will be going into effect Tuesday under President Biden’s new executive order.

If you’re traveling across state lines on a train, bus or plane, or you’re simply at the airport, you’ll have to wear a mask.

While not all travelers are on board with the idea, Grant Hutcherson and Sue Bergum are all for it. They traveled from Chicago to Southwest Florida.

“I’m all for wearing the mask. I want to speed this process up and we all want to get out of COVID[-19]. So I’m all for doing anything in my power to get us through this,” Hutcherson said.

“I can tell you have also had a transplant, so I am immunocompromised. So if you have anyone that’s elderly or compromised in any way with any debilitating illnesses or conditions, just wear it. It might save their lives,” Bergum said.

Most airlines have been asking for months for the federal government to pass along a mask mandate.

After no response, the airlines took matters into their own hands. This led to hundreds of passengers being banned from flying.

President Biden signed the new Executive Order on Thursday to tighten those restrictions.

“I think it’s going to be very interesting to watch. But I’m fine with it right now. I don’t care if I have to wear a mask or not; I have done it before as has my husband, so we’re good with it. I’m fine with it,” said Bergum.

Also included in that order: International travelers must show a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine when they arrive in the United States. Unfortunately, the executive order doesn’t specify how long the quarantine would last, but CDC recommendations say that it can be anywhere from seven to 14 days.

Travelers think that might be asking a bit much of everyone.

“Maybe just monitor your symptoms. I don’t know if it should be a mandatory quarantine, but monitor your symptoms and just stay on top of it,” Hutcherson said.

After RSW saw the number of travelers in December 2020 cut in half from the year prior, they’re hoping the new order will help.

“I would hope. We can definitely notice things are down at the different places that we went to at our hotel and everything. So hopefully it will encourage people to get a little bit more out,” said Bergum.

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