(CNSNews.com) – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Monday that it will no longer enforce the mask mandate on public transportation.
The decision comes after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) failed to adequately explain its reasons for the mask mandate on planes and other forms of public transportation and did not allow public comment in violation of federal procedures for issuing new rules.
“Due to today’s court ruling, effective immediately, TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs. TSA will also rescind the new Security Directives that were scheduled to take effect tomorrow. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time,” TSA said in a statement.
The White House called it a “disappointing decision.”
“The CDC recommended continuing the order for additional time — two weeks — to be able to assess the latest science in keeping with its responsibility to protect the American people,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said when asked about the judge’s ruling on Monday.
“So, this is obviously a disappointing decision. The CDC continues recommending wearing a mask in public transit. As you know, this just came out this afternoon. So, right now, the Department of Homeland Security, who would be implementing, and the CDC are reviewing the decision, and, of course, the Department of Justice would make any determinations about litigation,” she said.
Delta Airlines announced Monday that it will make masks optional for employees, crew members, and customers.
“Effective immediately, masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members and customers inside U.S. airports and on board all aircraft domestically, as well as on most international flights. Delta employees and customers may continue wearing masks if they so choose. Wearing a well-fitting mask protects the wearer, even if others around them are not wearing masks,” the airline said in a statement.
Alaska Airlines issued a similar statement on Monday, saying “effective immediately” that “masks are optional in airports and onboard aircraft.” It notes, however, that people “must continue to wear masks on flights both to and from Canada.”
“Face masks have been like boarding passes for nearly two years — you couldn’t fly without one. But, as of today, masks are optional in airports and onboard aircraft, effective immediately,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement.
“Due to a judicial decision in our federal court system, the mask mandate has been overturned, which means our guests and employees have the option to wear a mask while traveling in the U.S. and at work,” the airline said.
“Note: Guests must continue to wear masks on flights both to and from Canada,” it added.
“Masks are no longer required on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country's requirements) or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead… the choice is yours (you look dino-mite either way)!” United Airlines tweeted on Monday.