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The Biden administration is extending its face mask requirement for public transportation for another 15 days. This means that travelers will still have to wear masks in airports, planes, buses, trains and in transit centers until May 3.
The mask travel requirement was due to expire next Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is maintaining its mask order “to assess the potential impact of increased cases on serious illness, 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 an additional 15 days.
The decision was made in response to the increasing spread of the omicron subvariant in the United States and an increase in the 7-day rolling average of cases, which has increased by nearly 10% in the last two weeks at national scale. Some 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, industry group Airlines for America argued that it was no longer necessary to keep the order in place. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also recently announced that he is taking legal action in several states against requiring masks to be worn on public transit.