PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland International Airport will require face masks starting on Monday.
Last week, Port of Portland announced that in order to keep everyone going through the airport as healthy as possible, new safety procedures will be enacted at PDX beginning Monday. Everyone will be required to wear a face covering, except for children under the age of 2 and people with medical conditions that prevent wearing one. N-95 respirator masks are not necessary.
“This is a critical piece of helping restore and build confidence in the travel process,” said Port of Portland Chief Operating Officer Dan Pippenger. “We believe this policy supports public health guidance to help keep PDX employees and passengers healthy, and it aligns with our airlines’ best practices and with other airports to create a consistent and expected experience for travelers.”
While some passengers came prepared, others were caught off guard by the new mandate. However, PDX is providing masks for those who don’t have one with them.
“You know how you are used to bringing your ID to the airport, now it may be that we get used to packing our face coverings and bringing those to the airport as well,” said Kama Simonds, spokesperson for PDX. “We haven’t had a lot of people in the airport, but as we are starting to see volumes pick up a tiny bit we are really considering all the things we do to make the process safer for folks.”
In addition to face coverings, PDX is closing the greeting areas at the airport until further notice. They ask if you are picking someone up or dropping someone off, to please stay in your car outside instead of going in.
Other initiatives the airport is taking include promoting critical health and hygiene practices, reconfiguring airport spaces to make it easier for people to sit and stand at least six feet away from each other, creating spaces where people move in a single direction to ease congestion and looking for places where the airport can help improve touchless processes.
According to the Port of Portland, passenger volumes at PDX continue to be down approximately 90-95% compared to the same time last year.