Travelers will be required to wear masks or face the penalties of violating federal law as part of a new CDC order.
The order will go into effect on Monday at 11:59 p.m.
Travelers and operators of public conveyances like buses, trains, planes and ride-sharing services are required to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while waiting for, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking public transportation, according to the order. People must also wear masks when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub -- such as an airport, seaport or train station -- in the United States.
Additionally, the order -- which the CDC says is aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus -- specifies the requirements that these masks must meet and says bandanas, scarves and ski masks won't be good enough.
While it may seem like a major move, it really doesn't change much locally.
Officials at Huntsville International Airport said Sunday that county and state mandates have been enforcing the same thing since the summer.
"Prior to that, we had strongly encouraged that people wear masks,” Jana Kuner, the airport’s public relations manager, said. “So we've been doing this for a long time and our passengers are certainly familiar with being asked to wear a mask and most people are compliant."
Now, with failure to comply elevated to a federal offense, people in the community are hoping this shows the gravity of the situation and puts more masks on faces.
"Federal carries a little different tone obviously than state does,” Bob Rieder said. “So yeah, I think so. I think that'll send a different and more serious message.”
"I hope they do, I hope it's more serious than just, 'Hey, can you please wear your mask?” Katt Bryant said.