BREAKING: A federal judge in Florida has ruled that requiring citizens to wear masks on public transportation is unlawful, overturning a 14-month-old effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The ruling will apply to buses, trains and airplanes.
Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle stated that the CDC had “exceeded its authority” with the mandate.
“Therefore, TSA will not require its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. The CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”
According to Reuters, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines announced relaxed restrictions effective immediately on all domestic flights following the ruling.
Masks are no longer required on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s requirements) or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead… the choice is yours (you look dino-mite either way)! pic.twitter.com/hwq678v55d
— United Airlines (@united) April 18, 2022
Safety is always our highest priority, so while we love to see your smiling faces in the airport and on board, we respect your decision to keep using this added layer of protection. Above all, we hope you’ll treat each other with kindness and respect throughout the travel journey and beyond. “
The ruling comes just a week after U.S. health officials extended the public transportation mask mandate by 15 days in order to determine the impact of the recent rise of COVID-19 cases across the country. The CDC reports that COVID cases have once again increased, with 36,251 new infections reported on average daily.
The White House reportedly called the ruling “disappointing.”
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