Face Coverings Now Required for Passengers and Employees in BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport
Face Coverings Available for Travelers; Enhanced Health and Safety Measures In Place
Face coverings or masks will be required inside Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport beginning 5 p.m. Friday, July 31. This week, Governor Larry Hogan announced an expanded executive order regarding face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, mandating their use indoors for all people age 5 and older “at any location where members of the public are generally permitted.”
Travelers are reminded to give themselves plenty of time when coming to BWI Marshall airport; arriving two hours early is recommended. Passengers should practice physical distancing, wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently and use a mobile boarding pass when possible.
“Our highest priority remains the health and safety of our customers and employees,” said Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. “This important step will add further protection and assurance for everyone that uses the airport. The governor’s order enhances our broad efforts to help ensure a safe travel experience.”
Masks or face coverings were previously required in restaurants and shops at BWI Marshall Airport under earlier state and local directives. In recent weeks, every major U.S. airline has also implemented policies for face coverings. The BWI Marshall Airport terminal remains restricted to airline travelers, employees and individuals providing assistance to passengers.
Travelers and employees should bring their own face covering to wear in the airport. Passengers arriving without a face covering may receive a free mask at three airport information desks. Some airlines may offer face coverings for customers as well. In addition, several airport concessions sell face coverings, and there are vending machines in the airport terminal and rental car facility for the purchase of masks and other personal protective equipment.
During Maryland’s COVID-19 State of Emergency, BWI Marshall Airport has implemented many health and safety initiatives, including enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures with a focus on high-touch surfaces. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed throughout the terminal, protective barriers were installed at security checkpoints, airline ticket counters and information desks, and physical distance markers were installed in high-traffic areas. Health and safety information is provided to customers on information displays and overhead announcement boards. At certain times during the emergency, airport concessions were limited and public seating was reconfigured.
While passenger numbers at BWI Marshall Airport are still far below 2019, they are rising as Maryland’s COVID-19 recovery continues. The airport had a 96 percent decline in total passenger traffic in April. Through late July, departing passenger traffic is down about 68 percent from the same period in July 2019.
For more on the airport’s COVID-19 response, go to https://www.bwiairport.com/COVID19.