New guidelines to mask policy at DIA include detailed restrictions

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Holidays are always extra busy for Denver International Airport (DIA) and now DIA is reminding travelers of new rules to its mask policy.

While the mask mandate isn’t new, guidance from federal officials certainly is. Earlier this month the Biden Administration laid out new policies for TSA; rules that have airport security watching how people eat and drink while at their gate.

“Wear your mask if you have a drink in your hand but are not actively drinking it. If you’re taking a break between bites, we ask you put your mask on,” said Emily Williams, a spokesperson for DIA. 

The airport doesn’t want people to use holding food or a drink as an excuse to keep their masks off for an extended period of time.

“We’ve heard some feedback from some of our passengers that say, someone might be holding a drink in their hand for an hour and a half sitting in their gate not wearing a mask and we feel like that’s not really taking the spirit of wearing a mask to heart,” said Williams.

On Monday, many travelers seated at their gates told FOX31 they believe the new policy is reasonable.

“If I get thirsty, I just keep it on one ear, take a sip, and then if I’m not thirsty I’ll put it back on,” said Andrew Peercy from Salt Lake City. “Be mindful, be respectful. Don’t take advantage of the fact that you are using your mouth.”

Others however, didn’t care one way or another if someone nearby wasn’t obeying the rules.

“I’m young I’m not too worried about COVID I already had it and it wasn’t that bad, so it’s not a big deal to me unless they are coughing all over me while sipping their drink,” said Seth Williams from California.

There are exceptions to the rule. If you’re at a table in a restaurant you can keep your mask off while eating your meal as long as you’re not interacting with the wait staff. If you’re at a gate and don’t pull your mask up after a reasonable amount of time, you’ll be asked to put it back on or potentially be escorted out.

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