ST. PAUL -- Travelers through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will soon be required to wear face coverings beginning July 27.
The airport joins a number of cities, businesses and Minnesota institutions requiring that people wear face masks to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Roseville and Shoreview city councils also joined other communities in Minnesota, including St. Cloud and Bemidji on Monday, July 20, to pass resolutions that require masks in indoor public spaces.
Earlier Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission approved a resolution requiring face coverings in terminals, parking ramps, shuttle buses, trams, rental car operations and other facilities.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many places around the nation, it is clear that face coverings along with social distancing and frequent hand washing or sanitizing are key to keep ourselves and those around us safer,” Brian Ryks, chief executive at the MAC, said in a prepared statement. “Airlines and a growing number of airports already mandate the use of face coverings. Adding MSP to that number not only serves as an additional health safety measure, but it also helps provide consistency for people traveling from airport to airport.”
Previously, the airport had been “strongly” encouraging travelers to wear face coverings in all public areas of MSP.
Free face coverings will be available at information booths within the terminals. Also, masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available in airport stores.
The airport rules will allow for those who cannot wear a mask for health, safety or disability, as well as those who are eating or drinking. Children under the age of 2 or unaccompanied minors under the age of 12 will also be excluded from the regulation, airport officials said.
As of Monday, 1,545 Minnesotans have died from the coronavirus and another 40 are listed as probable COVID-19 deaths, meaning the coronavirus is listed on their death certificate but they never received a positive test.