BALTIMORE, md. — Face coverings or masks will be required inside Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport beginning Friday at 5 p.m.
This week, Governor Larry Hogan announced an expanded executive order regarding face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, mandating their use indoors for all people age 5 and older “at any location where members of the public are generally permitted.”
Prior to this order, most travelers were already wearing a mask and had no idea that a policy was going into effect.
"It’s a great idea," said Nick Marlett. "This is probably where it’s more congested than it is on the airplane because there is more people here more people to get in contact more people not washing their hands, more people touching the doors, more people touching their luggage."
Travelers are reminded to give themselves plenty of time when coming to BWI airport; arriving two hours early is recommended. Passengers should practice physical distancing, wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently and use a mobile boarding pass when possible.
Dozens of airports across the country have already required travelers to wear masks. So many were surprised to learn that BWI had recently put a policy in place. However, travelers agree and think that it's for the best.
"Probably a good idea just to keep everybody as safe as possible,” said Nicholas Heffron.
Travelers and employees should bring their own face covering to wear in the airport. Passengers arriving without a face covering may receive a free mask at three airport information desks.
While passenger numbers at BWI Marshall Airport are still far below 2019, they are rising as Maryland’s COVID-19 recovery continues. The airport had a 96 percent decline in total passenger traffic in April. Through late July, departing passenger traffic is down about 68 percent from the same period in July 2019.