Airlines drop mask requirement after judge strikes down mandate

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Airlines drop mask requirement after judge strikes down mandate
Photo Credit: Have a Nice Day Photo/ Shutterstock

Following a judge's strike-down of the mask mandate for public transportation, most U.S. carriers -- including Alaska, American, Delta, United, JetBlue, Frontier, Spirit and Southwest -- on Monday announced that they no longer would require passengers or crew to wear masks while on board during domestic flights.  

Also, Amtrak and ride-hailing service Uber each said that they would lift mask requirements.

A U.S. federal judge on Monday struck down the federal requirement that travelers wear masks on commercial aircraft and in airports, ruling that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exceeded its authority in setting the mandate.

Previously set to expire April 18, the CDC last week extended the mandate through May 3. Under the requirement, individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States, including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses and on commuter bus and rail systems must wear facial coverings, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa vacated the mandate. It wasn't immediately clear whether the federal government would appeal the ruling or allow the mandate to end. 

The board of directors of industry association Airlines for America last month sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden and members of his administration, including Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, urging them to drop the mandate.

Source: Business Travel News

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