BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – A judge voided the federal mask mandate for public transportation this week, and the Transportation Security Administration said it would no longer enforce the rule at airports. Regardless, masks are still encouraged during travel easing anxious passengers who continue to wear it out of an abundance of caution.
“People have been waiting so long to get out from wearing a mask,” said Jean minke who arrived at Bakersfield onboard an Amtrak train. “All of sudden they are still masking.”
Many who still wore the masks onboard Amtrak trains say it’s an old habit that can’t die quickly. Others say it has become a habit they are relieved to drop.
“I brought my mask, but I am glad that they did not make me wear it,” said Denise Roberts who is taking the Amtrak for the first time to visit her newborn grandson. “I’ve been vaccinated, I don’t feel like I need one.”
Passengers boarding the Amtrak are not required to wear a mask, but they’re encouraged.
Some like Salomae Trujillo aren’t too optimistic and are not willing to take a gamble on her trip to Martinez, California.
“I’m still wearing it if I feel like it, I feel like it,” said Trujillo. “I’m 70 and diabetic, I don’t need to get COVID, it’s still around.”
Over at Meadows Field, those that took to the friendly skies are enjoying newfound freedom to go maskless around the airport and aboard their flights.
“I’m done, I’m over it,” said Joyce Murphy who flew in from Oregon. “”I did not wear it on the bus, I did not wear it at the airport, and it was interesting because it was 50/50, 50-percent were not wearing a mask.”
GET bus is not requiring riders to wear face masks. Earlier today, Uber and Lyft both announced that riders can now go maskless.
Kern County Public Health says we should still prioritize our personal health.
In a statement, they said: “We are encouraged by the continued decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Kern. We encourage residents to get vaccinated and boosted. It’s a time to focus on our overall health and to catch up on any medical appointments or preventive care that may have been postponed.”
“In my opinion, they took it off now and in 6 weeks it is going to be sky high again,” said Trujillo. “We’ll have to be back to wearing them,”