Photo Credit: TN
Face Mask Travel Requirement On Public Transportation And Transportation Hubs Extended Until May 3
Not such great news has surfaced for those who think that the face mask mandate requirement for public transportation should be lifted or believe that this rule is still necessary. The Biden administration announced this Thursday that wearing masks in airports, planes, buses and trains is still mandatory until May 3. The face mask travel requirement was scheduled to expire on April 18.
NPR reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that this decision was made to prevent the spread of the omicron subvariant in the US, which has registered an increase of 25% cases over the past seven days across the country. In some states, this figure is even larger. CDC also stated that the rule extension will also help to “assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity,” according to an agency spokesperson.
The CDC spokesperson also confirmed that the Transportation Security Administration, which handles enforcement of the order, is also extending its security directive and emergency amendment for another 15 days, NPR said.
According to James Hodge, director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, this decision is supported by Science. “I believe that a two-week period is just enough to say we’re watching very carefully,” he says. “If we pull this mask mandate, we will have extended numbers of infections — that’s not responsible and that’s counter to the public’s health,” he told NPR.
The Biden administration’s decision to extend the face mask travel requirement for another 15 days came at a moment when there is growing pressure to lift this rule.
As Travel Noire reported last month, the CEOs of multiple US-based airlines along with Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, sent a letter to President Biden requesting the government suspend COVID-19 mandates such as the extension of wearing masks in airports and on airplanes.
“It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do,” as stated in the letter from the CEOs to the White House.