OAKLAND (KRON) – Alameda County’s renewed mask mandate in light of new COVID-19 cases is less than one day old — and already travelers at the Oakland International Airport are expressing surprise the county requires them to wear masks.
Jason Zulueta told KRON4 that he doesn’t “have a problem with the mandate,” but “I just didn’t know about it.”
Airport visitors have reported seeing no signs telling them to mask up, anyone telling them to do so, or a text on arrival.
When asked if he’d seen anything to that effect, Zulueta told KRON4 “Nope. No texts. Nothing on social media and I keep up with news on a regular basis and I didn’t see anything.”
The renewed mask mandate comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Bay Area. All 9 Bay Area counties are in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention high risk category, but it’s unclear this is having much of an effect on day-to-day behavior as the summer travel season heats up after two years of mandates, lockdowns and health advisories, as well as widespread vaccine adoption.
KRON4 asked the airport if it plans on enforcing the county-wide mask policy and how. After the initial publication of this article, Kaley Skantz, an airport spokesperson, stated that “we are doing out best to ensure compliance.”
“This is a newly reinstated mandate, and it may take time for people to update their knowledge of local policies,” Skantz stated. “Additional signage will be posted and it will soon be announced over the PA system as well.”
When asked if the mask mandate applies once passengers have boarded the plane, or if it applies until the plane has crossed Alameda County lines, Skantz stated that “once the passenger is on the aircraft, the masking policy is determined by the airline that is operating the aircraft. Our airline partners have been advised of the new Alameda County health guidelines, and we have provided them with masks to distribute for passenger use.”