MAC Board Makes Face Covering Mandatory at MSP Airport
(Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN- July 20, 2020) The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board today approved a resolution to require use of face coverings at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The new regulation applies in all public spaces at the airport, including outdoor locations where individuals cannot reliably maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others. The face covering regulation also applies in terminals, parking ramps, shuttle buses, trams, rental car operations and other similar facilities. The requirement becomes effective July 27.
“Based on the recommendation of health care experts, for nearly two months, we have strongly encouraged everyone to wear face coverings in all public areas of MSP. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many places around the nation, it is clear that face coverings along with social distancing and frequent hand washing or sanitizing are key to keep ourselves and those around us safer,” said Brian Ryks, MAC CEO. “Airlines and a growing number of airports already mandate the use of face coverings. Adding MSP to that number not only serves as an additional health safety measure, but it also helps provide consistency for people traveling from airport to airport.”
The new regulation provides exceptions for certain people who, for legitimate reasons of health, safety or disability, should not or functionally cannot wear a mask as well as for those engaged in eating, drinking or performing other activities that truly necessitate temporary removal of a face covering in order to perform those activities. Children two years or younger or unaccompanied minors 12 or younger are also excluded from the regulation.
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
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The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) owns and operates an airport system that includes Minneapolis-St Paul International (MSP) and six general aviation airports. One of the nation’s largest airport systems, the MAC delivers more than $16.7 billion annually for the local economy and supports more than 90,000 jobs in the region. The MAC’s airports connect the region to the world and showcase Minnesota’s extraordinary culture to millions of passengers from around the globe who arrive or depart through MAC airports each year. Though a public corporation of the state of Minnesota, the organization is not funded by income or property taxes. Instead, the MAC’s operations are funded by rents and fees generated by users of its airports. For more information, visit www.metroairports.org.