CDC extends transportation mask mandate until May 3

travelers at an airport wearing masks
Travelers will need to continue to wear protective face masks at airports, on planes, trains, buses and transit hubs, as the CDC is extending the mask requirement for travelers. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration is extending its face mask requirement for public transit for another 15 days. That means travelers will still need to mask up in airports, planes, buses, trains and at transit hubs until May 3.

The mask travel requirement had been set to expire this coming Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is keeping in place its mask order “in order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity,” according to an agency spokesperson.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the Transportation Security Administration, which handles enforcement of the order, is extending its security directive and emergency amendment for another 15 days.

The decision was made in response to the increasing spread of the omicron subvariant in the U.S. and an increase in the 7-day moving average of cases, which have risen by nearly 10% over the last two weeks nationally. Certain states are seeing much larger increases in new cases.

There has been growing pressure on the Biden administration to lift the mask rule.

In a letter to Biden last month, the industry group Airlines for America argued that it was no longer necessary to keep the order in place. Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has also recently announced he’s leading a multi-state lawsuit against the requirement to wear masks on public transit.

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