Face Coverings at RDU

All employees, travelers and other visitors to Raleigh-Durham International Airport are required to wear a face covering or mask in accordance with a State of North Carolina executive order. The face covering requirement went into effect Friday, June 26.

The face covering requirement pertains to all public spaces at RDU. Travelers should also check with their airline prior to coming to the airport, as airlines may require face coverings during flight.

Travelers can find masks at several of the Shops of RDU, including ink by Hudson (Gate D1), WRAL Travel Store (Gate D5), City Market News (Gate C8) and TripAdvisor (Gate C16).

Find the latest information about how RDU is responding to COVID-19 at RDU.com or via RDU’s social media accounts.


Is a face covering required at RDU?

Yes. All employees, travelers and other visitors to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) are required to wear a face covering or mask in accordance with a state executive order. The order mandates that face coverings be worn at all times in the airport with few exceptions (see below for list of exceptions). The order also authorizes law enforcement to issue a citation and/or deny access to airport facilities to anyone who refuses to wear a face covering.


What constitutes a face covering?

A face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. Ideally, a face covering has two (2) or more layers. A face covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts or towels. A face shield that covers the nose and mouth also meets the face covering requirements of the executive order.


Who is exempted from wearing a face covering?

Face coverings do not need to be worn by an airport worker or guest who:

  • Has a medical or behavioral condition or disability and cannot wear a face covering (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance)
  • Is under five (5) years of age – children under two (2) years of age should not wear a face covering
  • Is actively eating or drinking
  • Is seeking to communicate with someone with hearing loss in a way that requires the mouth to be visible
  • Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
  • Is alone in a vehicle
  • Is temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes
  • Would be at risk from wearing a face covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
  • Has found that his or her face covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle
  • Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the face covering safely on the child’s face

Will RDU provide guests a face covering if they do not have one?

Yes. FEMA-issued masks are available at the terminal Guest Services information desks for guests who lost or forgot their mask (available while supplies last). Face coverings are also being distributed by RDU’s Terminal Operations Team and sold in RDU’s terminal retail stores.


Where are you required to wear a face covering at RDU?

Airport workers and guests must wear a face covering at all times in the airport and enclosed spaces, such as elevators, even when appropriate social distancing is maintained. A face covering must be worn in outdoor public spaces, including parking facilities, when unable to maintain six feet from others.


Will RDU enforce the executive order?

Yes. The airport and its business partners are required to enforce the executive order.


Will I be cited for not wearing a face covering at the airport?

The order gives the airport the legal authority to issue a citation and/or deny access to airport facilities to anyone who refuses to wear a face covering. Airport employees are required to report anyone who refuses to wear a face covering to RDU law enforcement. Law enforcement officers may issue a citation to persons who refuse to wear a face covering at the airport.


Will I be allowed to board my flight if I am not wearing a face covering?

All airlines operating at RDU require customers to wear a face covering onboard the aircraft and may refuse boarding privileges to customers not wearing a face covering.


Do I have to wear a face covering if I am dropping off a customer at RDU?

You are not required to wear a face covering while inside your vehicle. However, if you leave your vehicle while at the airport, the executive order requires you to wear a face covering in all public spaces of the airport.


Am I required to wear my face covering while eating at the airport?

A face covering is not required when actively eating or drinking.


Am I required to keep my face covering on while processing through security?

Travelers are required to wear a face covering while processing through security. TSA officers may ask an individual to adjust their face covering during the screening process for identification purposes, which is permitted under the executive order.


I have a medical condition, am I required to wear a face covering for air travel?

The executive order provides a face covering exception for individuals with behavioral health issues, disabilities or other reasons that mean they should not wear a face covering. Individuals who decline to wear a face covering are not required to provide documentation or proof of a condition that exempts them from the requirement.


Is my child required to wear a face covering at RDU?

Children under the age of 5 are not required to wear a face covering. Children over the age of 2 should wear cloth face coverings if they can reliably wear, remove, and handle cloth face coverings throughout the day. Children under the age of two should not wear a face covering.


Are all airport employees required to wear a face covering?

Yes. All employees, travelers and other visitors to RDU are required to wear a face covering at the airport.


How long will I be required to wear a face covering at RDU?

Face coverings will be required at the airport until further notice.