Federal public transportation mask mandate set to expire

Posted at 8:04 AM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 11:07:58-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Biden administration is deciding whether or not to allow those catching a bus or flight to travel without wearing a mask.

The White House said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release a framework for the decision this week. The federal public transportation mask mandate expires Monday, unless the Biden administration extends it.

Right now, people have to wear masks when using public methods of travel, such as planes and trains. They also have to wear them in hubs, such as airports and ferry terminals.

The heads of many U.S. airlines have said they would like the mask mandate to end but, cases are starting to tick up in some parts of the country, including Texas. The White House says the CDC will release a new framework within days to help it make the decision.

"We don't want to prejudge this," said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha. "We want to look at what the evidence says and what the framework shows, and then use that as a decision-making tool."

The expiration date decision comes as COVID-19 cases have risen 6 percent in two weeks.

The rise is being blamed on the BA.2 omicron variant, which is believed to be more contagious than the original omicron variant.

The mask mandate for public transportation has already been extended several times.