Airlines work to move past the pandemic

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Recent mask mandates poses to lift mandatory masks on most airlines.

Ava Hahn, P.V. Only Editor

Traveling after the emergence of COVID-19 has come with many precautions to ensure safety to passengers and staff. This is especially prevalent in airports where travelers have been required to wear masks, follow health guidelines and occasionally show proof of a negative COVID test. 

These guidelines have been necessary to keep the public healthy, but with cases lowering, people are wondering just how necessary all of the precautions are. Travelers have not been silent about their desire to choose. Dropping the requirement for masks was initiated only because of the ongoing protest for the right to choose.

Not all airlines are going for this new idea, but big companies such as Spirit, Delta and United have moved to an optional approach to masks. This would not necessarily go for all travel, though; international flights may still require an extra level of protection in order to get in and out of the country. 

Senior Kael Amerine flew out of the country for spring break. He stated, “I knew I would have to get COVID tested before coming back into the country, but had it been optional I wouldn’t have worn a mask.” 

Although a lot of people are ecstatic about the mandate being lifted, some are still more skeptical than others. Cases of COVID have dropped significantly, but taking the extra steps towards protection is worth it for many. 

Senior Jack Williams is one of the many who does not know what they will do once they are faced with traveling again. “I do think there is definitely still importance to wearing a mask and taking precautions against COVID,” he said. “The only exception I would take from wearing a mask would be if I was sitting next to family members or someone I know on the plane.”

After the mask mandate was lifted, a viral video of flight attendants happily collecting guests masks mid-flight went viral. The updated rules seemed to yield an overwhelmingly positive response, but with any ruling surrounding the pandemic, there are two sides to the story. 

The push for mask mandates to be lifted has been prevalent since the pandemic started, but with the cases lowering by the day, some believe they are now unnecessary. Having the option of whether or not to wear a mask gives people the freedom they desire with the option to have an extra layer of protection if they feel it is necessary.