CDC Extends Transportation Mask Mandate Again
Updated on 4.14.22:
The CDC announced the mask mandate on public transportation will continue until at least May 3.
Officials with the CDC said they are extending the mandate by 15 days as they monitor the spread of the Omicron variant.
The BA.2 subvariant is growing in parts of the country, making up more than 85% of cases.
Public transportation passengers will be required to wear masks a bit longer.
The Transportation Security Administration extended the mask requirements on public transportation until April 18, per a recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The mandate applies to public transportation hubs, and on planes, trains, and buses. TSA is keeping civil penalties in place for violations.
Exemptions remain for travelers under the two-year-old and those with certain disabilities.
The mask requirement was originally set to expire March 18.
It comes after the CDC announced updated mask guidance Feb. 26, creating a set of metrics related to masking recommendations.
While the CDC metrics show much of the country can relax mask mandates, there are pockets of areas where the agency recommends people continue to wear masks.
TSA officials said the CDC will work with government agencies to revise a policy framework for masks and public transportation.
The framework will be based on COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science.
TSA officials also released information ahead of a busy spring travel season, which they said is expected to reach near pre-pandemic volumes.
Tips for a fast and efficient travel season:
- Continue to wear a face mask
- Limit liquids
- Pack food in a clear plastic bag
- Leave prohibited items at home
- Do not bring firearms to a security checkpoint
- Give yourself plenty of time
- Empty your pockets when you get to the checkpoint
- Listen to guidance from TSA officers
- Contact your TSA with questions
- Enroll in TSA PreCheck
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