CDC Delays Ending Mask Mandates for Travel

CDC Delays Ending Mask Mandates for Travel

( – In January 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic took root in the United States, the government scrambled to get it under control. Some of those actions included the CDC issuing a mask mandate on public transportation, including airlines. Fast forward to 2022, and these directives are still in place, even though most states have done away with or plan to do completely away with them. Now, the CDC has issued another order.

On April 13, the CDC issued two updates to its directive. The first update is a 15-day extension on the mask mandate, which is expected to end on May 3.

The second update was to the Travel Health Notice system for international travelers to warn of escalating or high case counts, which goes into effect on April 18. The extension refers to the rising number of cases, particularly the BA.2 Omicron variant.

On March 23, several Airline CEOs wrote a letter to President Joe Biden asking that he lift the mandate for airlines. At the time, they cited the fact that people are attending sporting events, concerts, restaurants, and schools without a mask, and the filtration systems are nowhere near as good as those on airplanes. Obviously, with the CDC’s April 13 announcement, these calls went unanswered.

The CDC says the extension of the emergency order will only last 15 days, but this is the fourth time the agency has extended the mandate. Come May 3, could the order be extended yet once again?

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