COVID-19 precautions for U.S. travel to stay in place well into new year

Mask mandate will be in place through March of 2022

As the omicron variant of the coronavirus becomes a growing threat, President Joe Biden is taking new steps to protect Americans from the spread.

ROANOKE, Va. – As the omicron variant of the coronavirus becomes a growing threat, President Joe Biden is taking new steps to protect Americans from the spread.

“This new variant is cause for concern but not panic, we knew there would be cases of omicron here in the united states and it’s here,” President Joe Biden said.

Now, if you are planning on traveling by plane this holiday season, you’re going to want to bring your mask. That is required not only here in the airports, but at all other major travel hubs, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve worked closely with health departments to make sure we have enhanced cleaning protocols in place,” Director of Marketing and Air Service Development Brad Boettcher said.

Staff at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport say while the mandate for masks in their facility was set to expire in early January, they will work with everyone to keep travelers safe.

“I think it’s just everybody working together to go in and try and keep everybody safe. The good thing is, is that in commercial aviation, there haven’t been really major spreads or outbreaks of COVID due to somebody being infected on an aircraft,” Boettcher said.

For travelers like Reece Clausen, the change is welcome.

“I wear to keep myself and other people like my family safe and I mean, some it’s a matter of opinion, but I feel like everybody should wear them at least until it’s really safe, not to wear them,” Clausen said.

And as travel across the U.S. and internationally is expected to pick up over the next few weeks ahead of the holidays, minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is at top of mind.

“I think it’s a small price to pay to be able to have the freedom that you have to be able to jump on an airplane and, you know, five hours later be on the other side of the country,” Boettcher said.

The extension will be in place through March 2022.


About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.