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Last week, a federal judge in Florida struck down the federal mask mandate for airplanes and other forms of public transportation. This ruling gives individual jurisdictions and companies the ability to choose whether they’ll still require masks, and some have chosen to keep the mandates intact. It arrives as the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron has led to a recent spike in case numbers in some areas.
Where are government or business mask mandates still intact? Read on below to find out.
The majority of major airlines have chosen to drop their mask requirements, but some still have conditional mask requirements. For example, Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, and many others are still requiring masks on international flights from the U.S. to countries that have masking requirements.
Many airlines are letting travelers return who were previously banned for masking violations, but some airlines will choose to continue to ban those who displayed disorderly conduct relating to masks previously.
When traveling, even if the airline you’re using doesn’t require a mask, it’s possible that you’ll be required to wear one in the airport. This rule is often an extension of existing mandates in cities or counties with airports, but some airports have specifically made rules relating to masks regardless of the laws in the area.
For example, New York City airports have kept their mask mandates in place for the time being. Check the official website for your local airport or your state, city, or county to see the current mask regulations for traveling out of your area.
Other public transportation
Some large cities have chosen to keep mask mandates in place for public transportation such as buses and subways. The biggest of these is New York City, which has figuratively butted heads with nearby New Jersey, which has dropped its transportation mask mandates. This means that some areas of the same subway or bus line may have differing masking requirements, so it’s important to be aware of the requirements in areas near you.
Businesses all over the country still have the authority to require that their customers wear masks, regardless of mask mandates in their areas being dropped. Some cities and states have kept mandates for indoor venues in place, which still overrides any rules that an individual business puts in place.
Some cities – Philadelphia, for example, which had previously lifted their mask mandates for indoor venues – have reinstated their mandates due to rising case rates. However, Philadelphia reversed course shortly after reinstating its rule.
Should you still carry a mask?
Although the federal mandate and many state and business mandates have been lifted, it remains a good idea to keep a mask with you wherever you go. In most situations, whether or not you choose to wear a mask is now up to your personal comfort level, but some places continue to require them.
Even if those around you aren’t wearing masks, studies show that wearing one yourself can decrease your risk of being infected or infecting those around you.