As the COVID pandemic wanes, many jurisdictions have moved to loosen or repeal rules that require the wearing of masks in public places.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that airline passengers will have to keep masking up for at least another two weeks.
“CDC continues to monitor the spread of the Omicron variant, especially the BA.2 subvariant that now makes up more than 85% of U.S. cases,” Fox Business quoted CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund as saying on Wednesday.
Airlines call on Biden administration to end mask mandate
“Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the U.S.,” Nordlund went on to state.
“In order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, the CDC Order will remain in place at this time,” she continued.
“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to extend the security directive and emergency amendment for 15 days, through May 3, 2022,” Nordlund concluded.
That move will no doubt come as a disappointment to airlines. Fox Business noted that last month, airline CEO’s wrote a letter to President Biden calling for an end to mask mandates.
“It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do,” the letter read.
“Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions — including the international predeparture testing requirement and the federal mask mandate — that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment,” it added.
Even many blue states have loosened up on masking
While mask rules have already disappeared from most Republican-controlled areas, Fox News reported last month that some blue jurisdictions are following suit.
New York ended its state-wide mask mandate in March, although individuals are still required to mask up for 10 days following and COVID infection.
Meanwhile, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Jersey were all said to have either repealed or loosened their mask regulations as well.