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End of TSA mask mandate prompts joy and concern for Columbus airport travelers

More travelers are expected at John Glenn International Airport this week than in recent months. The airport has social distancing precautions in place.
John Glenn International Airport

Following a decision by a federal judge in Florida which ruled that the federal mask mandate on planes, trains, buses and other modes of public transportation is "unlawful," the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it would no longer enforce the mask mandate.

Prior to the ruling, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) extended the existing mask mandate for public transit until May 13.

A trip to John Glenn International Airport found travelers who are both supportive of and against the changes.

Diane Woolwine flew to Columbus from Illinois to attend a concert. She is overjoyed that she no longer has to wear a mask to travel.

“I think it's about time because the virus is dissipating, and people should have a choice if they want to wear a mask or not,” said Woolwine.

But not everyone agrees. Que, a veteran nurse, said she will continue to wear a mask.

“If COVID is still going on people should be wearing masks. As a healthcare worker I wear masks for 12-13 hours, sometimes 14 hours, “ said Que. She said she is also very concerned that many who say they are vaccinated actually are not. She believes masks are needed to avoid another COVID surge and shutdowns.

John Porher flew from Indianapolis to Columbus for business and said the lifting of the mask mandate is long overdue.

“I travel a lot so it's kind of crazy, because you can get off an airplane where you had to wear a mask then walk 20 feet away to an open restaurant where 150 people are eating lunch and nobody has a mask on. It didn't really make a whole lot of sense, but I'm actually glad they finally got it handled, “ said Porher.

John Glenn International airports officials said masks are now optional.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.