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New Rules at Portland International Airport – Including Face Coverings Required – Increase Health Safety of Traveling Community
In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and in order to ensure the health safety of airline passengers, employees, and contractors working at Portland International Airport, PDX is implementing several airport rules and processes.
To protect travelers and airport employees, and to provide a consistent experience for passengers flying in and out of PDX, face coverings are required for everyone at the airport effective May 18, 2020. Children under the age of 2 and people with medical conditions that prevent wearing a face covering are exempt from this new rule.
“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.”
As the CDC and Multnomah County Public Health have clarified, cloth face coverings can be made from common materials and are meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Face coverings do not need to be masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
Additionally, to minimize people congregating in the terminal, the airport meeter-and-greeter areas are closed until further notice. PDX asks that families and friends wait to say ‘Welcome Home’ at home. If picking up an arriving passenger, please remain outside the terminal unless the arriving passenger requires assistance. Our goal is to help avoid crowding and limit proximity to persons not associated with traveling or working at the airport.
The airport continues to have enhanced cleaning protocols in place throughout the terminal. PDX is also doing the following to help keep travelers and airport employees healthy:
- promoting critical health and hygiene practices including washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes,
- reconfiguring airport spaces to make it easier for people to sit and stand at least 6 feet apart 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.
These efforts are underway and will continue as people return to traveling and the number of people in the terminal increases.
PDX remains open and operational. Given the state of COVID-19 in our community, across the nation and around the world, however, passenger volumes at PDX continue to be down approximately 90-95% compared to the same time period last year.
Over the past two months, PDX has seen temporary suspensions of transpacific and transatlantic service, as well as suspension of flights to Canada and Mexico. Airlines continue to make changes to their flight schedules as they adjust to the dynamic conditions created by COVID-19. PDX has seen more than 20 temporary closures of airport shops and restaurants.
Updated airport information can be found at www.flypdx.com/covid-19.