As COVID cases are gradually brought under control in the United States (or people just stop caring about it), many governing bodies, federal and local, have been dialing back mandates on face masks. One of the very last major federal mandates is the one imposed by the Transportation Security Admission, requiring people to wear face masks on crowded, enclosed means of transport like planes, trains, and buses. This mandate was set to expire a week from today, but in the interest of safety, it’s been extended one more month.
The TSA announced today that the travel mask mandate will be extended until April 18, meaning that you will still need to wear a face mask on those forms of travel until then at the minimum. In the meantime, the admission will be reviewing the state of the pandemic in the US to determine if and when it will be safe to dial the mandate back.
“CDC will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor,” a government official told CNN. “This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science. We will communicate any updates publicly if and/or when they change.”
Breaking News: The TSA will extend its mask mandate on airplanes and public transit through at least April 18 as the CDC reviews the policy. https://t.co/tOEMtKBsqR
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 10, 2022
Depending on the current trend of COVID cases, the mandate may end up being lifted before the 30-day extension ends, though officials want to be certain we’re on a good forecast before they pull the trigger.
“What we really don’t want is to lift the mandate and have to reimpose it,” another official said.