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The State of Alaska has announced that it has implemented the new federal mandate requiring masks on all commercial airport property. This mandate includes all Alaska airports with scheduled commercial air traffic.

The state says, “Failure to comply with this mandate may result in removal and denial of airport entry. Individuals refusing to wear a mask in or on the airport property may be subject to penalties under federal law.”

Exceptions to the mandate are allowed to temporary remove the mask for identity verification; eating, drinking, or taking oral medications; communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing when the mouth needs to be seen; or if unconscious except while sleeping. The mask requirement does not apply to children under two years of age; people with disabilities who cannot wear a mask – under specific narrow rules; or for workers where the mask would create an issue to workplace health, safety, or job duty. The rule also does not apply to individuals in private vehicles.

TSA says individuals attempting to go through the screening area may be subject to civil penalty for attempting to circumvent screening requirements, interfering with screening personnel, or a combination of those offenses.

The rules also apply to surface transportation modes, such as passenger rail, bus systems, ferries, and over-the-road bus companies.

In addition, mask rules apply on all federal property, including national parks, when social distancing cannot be maintained.

TSA says it will follow the Centers for Disease Control guidance requiring face masks to cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides without gaps. Masks can be either manufactured or homemade and should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.

Michael Paschall is the publisher of the Seward Journal and covers general news topics. He can be reached at news@sewardjournal.com.

Publisher

Michael Paschall is publisher of the Seward Journal and president of TriDelta, Incorporated Publishing, owners of the Seward Journal.