FORT MYERS, Fla. — President Joe Biden issued a new federal mask mandate that’s changing the way people use public transportation during the pandemic.
The executive order aims to help curb the spread of Covid-19 by making face coverings mandatory for boarding planes, buses, or trains.
It also requires mask wearing for all federal property and airports.
The airports in Fort Myers and Punta Gorda say the mandate would help reinforce the rules they’ve already set in place.
“For informal gatherings, like airports or public transportation buses, the chance of spread is much higher in these circumstances. It’s much higher than when we are passing someone on the street,” said Dr. Jay Gupta, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The expert in epidemiology believes a nationwide mandate for high-volume places could make a big dent in covid cases down the road.
In 2019, Punta Gorda Airport saw more than 1.6 million passengers and Southwest Florida International Airport saw more than 10 million.
At this time, Southwest Florida International Airport and Punta Gorda Airport say they’re waiting for further guidance on additional measures for the federal mask mandate.