Federal Mask Mandate Ends on Public Transportation – NBC4 Washington

At Reagan National Airport Monday night, the signs were still up, but the masks could come off, after a federal judge struck down the national mask mandate covering airlines and other public transportation.

Most travelers we spoke with were in the air when the news came.

One woman flying with two children said the change was well-received, since it’s hard to get the little ones to keep their masks up. 

The announcement from the TSA came hours after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the CDC overstepped its authority when it issued a mask mandate for public transportation.

Other air travelers said they were not comfortable giving up masks just yet.

“That’s cool but you know, I’m going to still do my thing. I’m wearing it,” one man said. 

“I’m just being safe for everyone’s sake, not just myself but for everyone around me,” another said. 

Mass transit like Metro is also included in the order.

In a statement, the transit agency said: “Effective immediately, Metro will make masks optional on Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess for its customers. Masks also will be optional for Metro employees.”

Amtrak, too, now says masks will be optional for passengers and staff. 

Various airlines have issued their own statements.

United, JetBlue, American Airlines and Delta say their staff will no longer enforce the mask mandate at U.S. airports – though there may be exceptions based on local ordinances – but passengers are free to wear them if they choose.

Federal officials last week had extended the mask mandate for commercial flights and in other settings, including on buses, ferries and subways, until at least May 3.

The issue, however, may not be settled. The White House is waiting to see how the Department of Justice responds to this ruling, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommend people continue to wear masks on public transit.

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