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Mask Mandate On Planes Overturned By Federal Judge, CDC Ends 'Do Not Travel' List
A federal judge in Florida has overturned the extended national mask mandate, saying it exceeded the authority of U.S. health officials in the COVID-19 pandemic, AP reported today.
Issued by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, the decision also points out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rule making. Mizelle was appointed by former President Donald Trump, AP emphasized.
Mizelle said, through a 59-page document, the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely across the country, defending that it would be impossible to lift the mask mandate only for groups of people who objected in the lawsuit.
Mizelle commented that “a limited remedy would be no remedy at all,” and that — even if the goals of the CDC in fighting the virus are laudable.
“Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate,” she wrote.
The decision received positive reactions from those who were against face mask requirements on public transportation. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of them. DeSantis tweeted: “Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate. Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end.”
DeSantis’ tweet received 44,000 likes in less than 2 hours after it was posted.
CDC Ends Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel Lists’ after mask mandate ends
As news spread on the suspension of the mandate, the CDC also issued its own input. The agency announced that it would remove all countries from its current Level 4 ‘do not travel’ list as of today. Instead, it will only use recommendations for its other levels— of which 120 countries are listed as level 3 ‘high COVID-19 warning.’
The CDC will continue to monitor and update the list every 28 days.
“Make sure you are up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to these destinations,” the CDC warns. “If you are not up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to these destinations.”