About face covering requirements
People at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) are required to wear face coverings based on an executive order by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and a regulation approved by the Metropolitan Airports Commission board. Here’s what you need to know.
What type of face covering is required?
A face covering can include a paper or disposable mask, cloth mask, neck gaiter, scarf, bandanna, or a religious face covering. A face covering must cover the mouth and nose completely.
Any masks that incorporate a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask.
Refer to the following resources for additional guidance and tips on how to wear a face covering:
- Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Video: Mask Do’s and Don’ts
- For other languages and a transcript, see the MDH Videos for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response webpage
- CDC guidance for the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19
Where must individuals wear a face covering at MSP?
Individuals must wear a face covering inside MSP terminals, shared work areas or other indoor facilities. Additionally, regulations require face coverings for all individuals in parking ramps, shuttle buses, trams, ride-share vehicles, taxis, or other public transportation vehicles.
MAC regulations also require face coverings at all outdoor public locations at the airport where an individual cannot reliably maintain distancing of approximately six feet from others.
Are there exemptions from these regulations?
Yes, exemptions include:
- Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who have a medical condition that compromises their ability to breathe, and individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
- Children who are five years old and under.
- Any individual who is deaf and relies upon the use of facial and/or mouth movements to communicate and those individuals who rely upon the same to communicate with such an individual.
Are there alternate options of protection for those who are exempt from wearing a face covering?
Individuals who are exempt from regulations requiring face coverings are encouraged to use an alternate form of facing covering, such as a clear face shield, when possible.
When can face coverings be temporarily removed?
Face coverings can be temporarily removed as part of airline check-in processes, TSA or Customs and Border Protection screening, or other instances where identification is required.
Individuals can also temporarily remove face coverings to eat, drink, take medication, or engage in personal hygiene activities (such as brushing teeth) with proper social distancing of six feet or more.
What is the penalty for not wearing a face covering?
Face coverings, along with other preventative measures, such as social distancing and hand hygiene, have proven effective in reducing spread of COVID-19 according to public health experts. It’s expected that airport visitors will comply with these regulations to benefit the safety of those working at or traveling through the airport, as well as those in the communities we live in. While the primary emphasis is on educating the public, individuals who do not comply with face covering regulations at MSP could be charged with a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor offense.
Does the airport provide face coverings for travelers?
MSP offers free face coverings at information booths. Face coverings may also be available at airline check-in counters and TSA checkpoints. There are also several retail stores and vending machines that sell face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and other personal protective items.
Are there other face covering regulations in effect at MSP?
Airlines may have additional requirements regarding face coverings. Please check with your airline for the latest information on their face covering requirements or other passenger policies.