Remove the mask
After a federal judge ruled down the Biden administration’s mask mandate, a number of transportation companies, including Uber, Amtrak, and all three major airlines, stated they would no longer require staff or passengers to wear masks.
US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle decided on Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the jurisdiction to impose a mask mandate and did not follow the required procedures to do so. The Biden administration indicated it was considering appealing the decision. (The mask requirement for air travel and public transit was originally due to expire on April 18th, but it was recently extended until May 3rd.)
Many private transportation companies, on the other hand, are not waiting for the White House to respond. While masks are no longer needed, they are still suggested, according to an Uber notification given to riders and drivers in the United States. For the first time since the outbreak began, riders will be permitted to use the front passenger seat. Masking will also be made optional by Lyft.
In reaction to the federal judge’s decision, the Transportation Security Administration announced that the mask requirement for flight travellers will no longer be enforced. The three main airlines Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines withdrew their own restrictions requiring masks to be worn during domestic flights almost immediately. Some overseas flights, as well as flights into and out of specific cities, may still require masks, according to the airlines.
When passengers and personnel are no longer compelled to wear masks while on board trains or at stations, masks are welcome and remain a crucial preventive step against COVID-19, according to an Amtrak spokesperson. Anyone who requires or desires one is urged to do so.”
Some transit authorities, on the other hand, are standing firm. While it examines its policy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City’s subways and buses, said it will continue to compel passengers and employees to wear masks. The same was echoed by the Los Angeles Metro, which stated that it was awaiting more advice from the federal government. New Jersey Transit, like the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency, said it will no longer require mask wearing on its trains.
As the BA.2 Omicron subvariant becomes the prevalent strain in the US, the CDC recently extended the mask mandate. Throughout the pandemic, public health experts have consistently advised wearing masks to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, especially in crowded, poorly ventilated areas. The CDC “highly encourages” wearing masks on public transit to lessen the risk of contracting and transmitting the infection, according to its website.