NewsCovering Kern County


Bakersfield travelers react to lift of mask mandate on airplanes

“I think it’s great for everyone."
Travel Mask Mandate
Posted at 10:30 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 01:30:50-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — If you are ready to ditch masks, you finally have permission to do so. TSA announced this week that it is no longer enforcing its mask mandate.

Airline passengers who flew into the Bakersfield Meadows Field Airport say they are ready to ditch the masks and return back to a more normal life, while others say they will continue to wear theirs while flying.

“It was cool not to see people with their mask on. Some did it, some didn’t do it,” Bakersfield Resident Fernando.

Fernando said he saw many travelers celebrate when the end of the mask mandate was announced.

“It was kind of fun to see that at Phoenix. When I was there, they announced it over the intercom and threw them on the ground and everywhere.”

As the result of a court order made on Monday, the order requiring masks on public transportation and at transportation hubs will no longer be enforced.

23ABC reached out to the United, American, and Aha! Airlines, which fly in and out of the Meadows Field Airport, and they said that face masks are now optional for all travelers and employees.

“We’ve got lots of people that are ready to travel without a mask,” said Kathleen Lowry, LEG Travel Agent.

Lowry said she is excited to help more of her clients book the vacations they’ve waited a long time to go on.

“The clients that I’ve talked to online, emailed and texted are very excited.”

Golden Empire Transit also announced face masks will no longer be required on its buses.

“We decided to go ahead and remove our mask mandate as well for the time being.”

Meanwhile, in a statement, Amtrak San Joaquins said “As for now, SJJPA is still asking passengers to wear masks on Amtrak San Joaquins.”

“I think it’s great for everyone because you have the choice now. You can wear the mask if you feel that is necessary and you want to protect yourself, but the rest of us who want our freedom to travel are pretty thrilled that we don’t have to wear it anymore. It’s a win-win for everybody so if you still want to wear a mask you can.”

While the mask mandate will no longer be enforced, the CDC is still recommending people wear masks indoors and while traveling.