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CDC Restates Travel Mask Mandate Recommendations

CDC Restates Travel Mask Mandate Recommendations

For months, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had been enforcing a requirement that passengers and workers wear masks. The government had repeatedly extended the mandate, and the latest one had been set to expire on Tuesday. However, a federal judge in Florida struck down the rule on April 18th, and later the same day, the TSA said it would no longer enforce the mandate.

But on the day the extended order was supposed to expire, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instead restated their recommendation that Americans wear masks on planes, trains, and buses, despite the court ruling.

CDC officials cited the current spread of coronavirus and projections of future COVID-19 trends in its recommendation that Americans age 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask while on public transportation, including in airports and train stations.

The CDC asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision from the Florida judge, which the department did. On Tuesday, CDC officials declined to comment on the status of the appeal, but recent polling shows a majority of Americans supporting the travel mask mandates.

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Traveling is already stressful enough, but for the millions of Americans who regularly travel and are immunocompromised, the removal of the mask mandate has been a nightmare. Those choosing to wear their masks have been verbally abused by their non-masked fellow travelers or have experienced other threats.

Mask mandates are still very much in effect overseas, where passengers are required to be masked for the entire duration of their trip. International airlines such as Air France, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Pakistan International Airlines, South African Airways and Malaysian have all kept strict policies in place.

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