New regulations passed this week make it mandatory to wear face coverings inside Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's terminals. The regulations also require face coverings in outdoor public areas of MSP where it could be difficult to maintain adequate social distancing.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued an order on Wednesday, July 22, that makes face coverings mandatory in indoor public areas.
The order takes effect on Saturday, July 25, and includes the terminals at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission had already strongly encouraged the use of face masks, and earlier this week the MAC's board passed its own resolution related to mandatory mask use, taking effect after the governor's order.
Free face coverings are available at information booths within MSP’s terminals. Face masks and other health safety items, such as hand sanitizer, gloves and disinfectant wipes, are also available for sale at several MSP retail stores and vending machines throughout the airport.
This month the U.S. departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services published industry guidance in a report called Runway to Recovery, which strongly encourages that airlines and airports require everyone to wear a mask or cloth face covering in shared spaces.
The MAC and its partners – airlines, airport concessionaires and the Transportation Security Administration – have worked together closely over the past few months to reduce risks of virus spread during all parts of the travel process at MSP.
Launched last month, the MSP Travel Confidently program outlines actions the MAC has taken to help protect travelers and airport employees and provide messaging to encourage travelers to take appropriate steps to protect themselves and those around them.
Key elements include:
- A robust airport cleaning program that includes electrostatic disinfectant fogging
- Floor decals and other signage to encourage social distancing
- Messaging promoting wearing of face coverings at MSP
- Hand sanitizing stations located throughout MSP terminals
- Shield guards at ticket counters, gate desks, gate podiums, TSA document-checking stations, information booths and other locations
- Pre-booked parking which, through use of QR codes, provides for touchless entry and exit from MSP parking ramps