Airline passenger handing over travel documents. (photo via ake1150sb /iStock / Getty Images Plus)
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Tuesday that people traveling on public forms of transportation should still be wearing a mask for protection against coronavirus.
According to The Associated Press, the CDC’s mask requirements for airlines, airports and other forms of public transportation were struck down by a federal judge last month, ending the controversial mandate after almost two years.
Despite the loss in the courtroom, CDC officials said all Americans two years and older should still be wearing well-fitting facial coverings while on public transportation, including in airports and train stations.
Health officials cited the current spread of coronavirus and projections of future COVID-19 trends when issuing the updated mask recommendations.
While the CDC still recommends facial coverings, the government agency asked the U.S. Department of Justice to appeal the ruling of a federal judge, striking down the previously extended mask mandate.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was tasked with enforcing the requirement that passengers and workers wear masks, but the agency stopped as soon as the protocol was struck down in court.
The CDC announced last month it has removed around 90 countries and territories from its ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’ list. The agency said its Travel Health Notice system for international destinations would be overhauled, with Level 4 reserved for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, the emergence of a new variant of concern or healthcare infrastructure collapse.