Travelers now required to wear face masks at Sky Harbor Airport

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, travelers are now required to wear a mask at Sky Harbor Airport.

The decision, which was announced by airport officials in late May, took effect on Monday. The new regulation applies to employees and members of the public entering public airport facilities, including:

  • Terminals
  • Rental Car Center
  • PHX Sky Train
  • Airport buses

Officials have said airport visitors are expected to bring their own mask, and stores inside Sky Harbor are currently selling masks for those who do not have one.

The Phoenix airport is also allowing non-commercial masks, such as bandanas or homemade cloth masks, as long as it covers the nose and mouth.

Exceptions include:

  • Children two years old or younger
  • Any child 12 years or younger "unless parents and caregivers supervise the use of face coverings"
  • Individuals who have physical disabilities that prevent easily wearing or removing a face covering
  • Individuals who are hearing-impaired and use facial or mouth movements as a part of communication
  • People eating food or beverages
  • People who can't wear a covering because of a documented medical condition
  • When it is necessary to verify someone's identity
  • When it is necessary to take photos for Aviation Credentialing/Security Badging purposes

"In concert with major airlines, the TSA, airports across the country including Seattle, Denver, LAX, New York’s JFK, Boston Logan, Miami, and even companies such as Uber, everyone in public airport facilities will be required to cover their noses and mouths," airport officials said in a statement.

The airport has maintained a 24-hour cleaning schedule, and employees have increased the frequency at which high-touch areas are cleaned, according to a press release.

"Travelers will be reminded to give themselves plenty of time when they come to the airport, practice physical distancing at all times, frequently wash their hands, and use a mobile boarding pass when possible," according to the release.

"For consistency’s sake, and to be in line with Airlines for America and Airports Council International and so many other airports across the world, this is something we’re doing here at Sky Harbor for consistency sake," said Deborah Ostreicher, Assistant Aviation Director at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Travelers, meanwhile, are rather encouraged by the new restrictions.

"It’s not so much for your protection, but for other people," said Ralph Pedota. "I think that we should be understanding that we’re helping everyone, not just a select few."

"I think it’s probably the safe thing to do," said Andrew Schinert. "If you can limit your risk for other people, I think there’s no downside."

Click here for more information on Sky Harbor's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.


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