CDC Extends Mask Mandate on Planes and Public Transit

Last Wednesday, the mask mandate on planes and public transportation would extend across the country for two more weeks. The centers for the control and prevention of diseases (CDC) announced that this measure will be valid until May 3. This decision is due to the increase in new cases of COVID-19 across the nation.

In the northwest of the country, the BA.2 Omicron subvariant takes hold. Also, the number of infections has increased since the beginning of April. Currently, the new subvariant BA.2 Omicron is 85% of cases throughout the country. Wearing of masks, like that n95mask, should be a no-brainer to reduce the spreading of the virus.

The mask mandate was set to expire on April 18. However, the CDC said that the virus is still a threat that continues to exist among Americans, and they should not let their guard down. The CDC also said it will update its travel health advisory system for international destinations to make it easier for passengers to know when travel to a specific destination is not recommended. This new update brings a new feature that will allow users to be notified of special situations such as the appearance of a new variant or a rapid increase in cases.

But, all approved this new extension?

The Biden administration is currently under pressure from a group of Republican legislators and even from the executives of airlines to withdraw the extension of the mask mandate. They assure that since the beginning of the year, COVID cases began to decline. In late March, some largely Republican-led states sued the government. Their goal was for the government to immediately end the mask requirement.

Airlines such as American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines have also been pressuring the government to lift travel restrictions. They argue that now they have air filter technology that makes the virus spread during a flight unlikely. And that is not the only reason why airlines seek to remove the mask mandate. Since flight attendants have been victims of conflict with passengers who are refusing to use masks during a flight. According to the Federal Administration of Aviation Administration, until April 12, the number of incidents with passengers is 1,150. 744 of them were incidents related to the mask.

However, this decision to put a mask requirement on public transit and planes is an attempt by the government not to allow another wave of infections and to keep the virus under control.