Health

CDC And TSA Extend Transportation Mask Mandate, Again

(Photo by TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that Americans will be forced to wear masks on public transportation for at least two more weeks.

The agency said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will extend the mask mandate security directive for 15 more days, through May 3, in a press release. The mandate, which requires travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and other forms of public transit, was set to expire April 18.

The CDC cited an uptick in COVID-19 cases since the start of April and the spread of the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron as justification for extending the mandate. Deaths and hospitalizations have decreased during that timeframe, according to the CDC’s own data.

The Biden administration’s CDC already extended the mandate last month into mid-April despite the fact that all 50 states and most localities had dropped their mask and vaccine mandates in the preceding weeks. In late March, 21 states sued the Biden administration over the TSA mask mandate.

Airplanes are also one of the safest environments someone can be indoors when it comes to air quality and airflow. (RELATED: Americans Agree — COVID Is Over)

More restrictions may be on the way back before the transport mask mandate gets lifted. Monday, Philadelphia became the first major city in the United States to reinstate a mask mandate, also citing the BA.2 subvariant.