The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging Americans to continue wearing masks on airplanes, trains, buses and other public transportation, despite a court ruling in April that struck down a national mask mandate on mass transit.
“CDC continues to recommend that all people – passengers and workers alike – properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs to provide protection for themselves and other travelers in these high volume, mixed population settings,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement.
“We now have a range of tools we need to protect ourselves from the impact of Covid-19, including access to high-quality masks and respirators for all who need them,” she was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
The CDC recommends that everyone aged 2 and older – including passengers and workers – properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation such as airplanes, trains, and transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
This recommendation is based on the currently available data, including an understanding of circulating variants and their impact on disease severity and vaccine effectiveness, current trends in Covid-19 community levels within the US, and projections of Covid-19 trends in the coming months, said the CDC.
“It is important for all of us to protect not only ourselves, but also to be considerate of others at increased risk for severe Covid-19 and those who are not yet able to be vaccinated,” Walensky stressed.
Wearing a mask in indoor public transportation settings will provide protection for the individual and the community, said the CDC.
For months, the US Transportation Security Administration had been enforcing a requirement that passengers and workers wear masks.
The CDC had extended the mask mandate through May 3. But a federal judge in Florida struck down the rule on April 18.