SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco International Airport terminals were filled with mask wearing travelers on Wednesday.
The mask extension requirement on commercial airliners had been extended through the beginning May did not seem to cause much concern among flyers.
The Centers for Disease Control chose to extended the mandate at least through May 3 due to rising COVID cases across the country.
“Now is not the time the government should be removing a major thing that can be done to keep people from getting infected that is wearing masks on public transportation,” Dr. John Swartzberg, a UC Berkeley infectious disease specialist said.
Swartzberg says the feds have made the right call when it comes to masks on airplanes and he hopes its extended again in two weeks.
“Once you are in the air there are lots of good air exchanges and the air is pretty clean, but while sitting on the tarmac, the air exchanges are minimal and that results in you breathing other peoples air,” he added.
Chin-Hong agrees extending the mandate on public transit and airlines is the right call until people have better information of the trajectory’s new surge.
“It makes sense not to tinker with the formula especially since you want to have people travel freely and feel safe not just on planes but any public transportation,” Dr. Peter Chin-Hong UCSF infectious disease specialist said.
“I think we probably want to see at the minimum stability, right now we are moving,” Chin-Hong said. “So when there’s a predictable baseline involved we can make judgments what’s safe and not as far as risk mitigation strategies.”
The federal government will revisit this issue in the next couple of weeks either extending the mandate or lifting it. However doctors point out, even if there’s no mandate, you can still wear your mask on a plane.