Denver, CO

DIA makes face masks optional, airlines follow

Brittany Anas

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Masks are now optional in Denver International Airport and on most airlines.Denver International Airport

By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Travelers are no longer required to wear face coverings at Denver International Airport, and many airlines also dropped their on-flight mask requirements.

On Monday, a federal judge in Florida struck down the mask requirement on public transportation, including airplanes, trains, and buses. The ruling comes less than one week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended mask requirements on public transit through May 3 due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. The mask mandate was set to expire on April 18.

DIA posted an announcement on its website Monday night: “As a result of the recent Federal court ruling, the federal mask mandate is no longer in effect at DEN. Please check with your airline regarding their mask policy.” DIA is the third busiest airport globally, with nearly 59 million passengers traveling through the airport in 2021.

Following the ruling, major airlines, including Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, JetBlue, and others, have announced that masks are optional.

Here’s a Tweet from Frontier, which has a hub at DIA.

In a statement, Delta cautioned that travelers might experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as the mask rules are more broadly communicated.

“Given the unexpected nature of this announcement, please be aware that customers, airline employees and federal agency employees, such as TSA, may be receiving this information at different times.”

Between Feb. 2021 and March 2022, the Transportation Security Administration issued nearly $650,000 in proposed fines to those who refused to comply with mask mandates, according to a government report. The majority of the civil citations were issued aboard airplanes and there was a sharp rise in sanctions during the last six months.

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Brittany is a journalist in the Denver metro area with more than two decades of writing and editing experience. She covers travel, restaurants and other lifestyle topics.

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