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Pres. Biden pushing state and local leaders to mandate masks for travel

President Biden issued several Executive Orders, one of which requires masking for interstate travel.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Biden's effort to flatten the curve across the country from the coronavirus includes how we travel. Biden issued an Executive Order to mandate masks on public transportation.

Our WZDX News reporter has the details on how much this will impact us in the Tennessee Valley. 

"Currently with the information that we have, we do know that the variant strain is in the United States. So we're all extremely concerned this is really more infectious strain, for example, needs to be curbed as much as possible," says Alabama Department of Public Health Asst. State Health Officer, Dr. Karen Landers.

One of Biden's executive orders is to wear masks on public transportation including airports. While this is a federal mandate, Biden is tapping on state leaders and state health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended the mask order to March 5th. 

RELATED: Alabama mask order and Safer-at-home order extended

"I do think it will be helpful for people to understand the requirements of this, and also helpful for persons to be able to know this is 'something I need to prepare for'," says Landers.

Airports and airlines have already implemented masks orders. Port of Huntsville officials say they've continued to follow the state mask order that's in alignment with the Executive Order.

"We're still here to keep everyone accountable, and we monitor the mask wearing just to make sure everybody is staying as safe as possible," says Port of Huntsville for Public Relations, Cooper Jacob.

In addition to the travel mask mandate, masks must be worn on federal property. Federal employees are also required to wear them.

"For example, they're going into a building, they're going to be traveling and other activities, again it is just one of those layers, and it's very important to continue these mitigation standards while we try to get the vaccine," says Landers.

The Executive Order requiring wearing masks during travel also includes trains, maritime vessels, and intercity buses.