Airline mask mandate extended two weeks

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During the 15-day extension period, the CDC will assess the potential impact of the recent rise of Covid-19 cases on severe disease.
During the 15-day extension period, the CDC will assess the potential impact of the recent rise of Covid-19 cases on severe disease. Photo Credit: Hananeko Studio/Shutterstock

The Biden administration has decreed a two-week extension of the federal mask mandate for airlines and other mass transportation. 

The mandate had been set to expire on April 18. The new expiration date is May 3. 

The decision comes amid rising Covid-19 case counts in the U.S., fueled by the BA.2 omicron subvariant, which now makes up 85% of Covid cases in the U.S., the TSA said in a statement. 

"During the 15-day extension period, CDC will assess the potential impact the recent rise of Covid-19 cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations, deaths and healthcare system capacity," the TSA said. "TSA will continue to coordinate closely with CDC and communicate any changes to this requirement with the public."

Airlines and the U.S. Travel Association have called for an end to the federal mask mandate.

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