U.S. Government Asks Court To Reinstate Mask Mandate For Public Transport

U.S. Government Asks Court To Reinstate Mask Mandate For Public Transport


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The U.S. government is attempting to get the mask mandate for public transport in the United States of America reinstated – following its removal by a federal judge on 18 April.

The Justice Department has just filed a 48-page document, which is ultimately asking for a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling – that was made more than a month ago – which stated that the government’s mask mandate for public transportation was “unlawful”.

Female passengers on a plane wearing face masks

The mandate had previously been extended on a number of occasions – with it set to have expired on 18 April.

Just a few days prior to the 18 April expiry date, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did in fact extend the mandate once again – which would have seen it enforced up until 3 May.

Man wearing a face mask on the metro system

That is when a US district judge – Kathryn Kimball Mizelle – stepped in to overturn the mandate – at the time saying that the CDC had “overstepped its authority” by enforcing a mask mandate for all forms of public transport throughout the United States of America.

She also justified the court’s decision – at the time saying that wearing a mask “imposes directly on liberty of interests.”

US Department of Justice building

Now, however, the U.S. government has decided to appeal the judge’s decision – with an attempt to have the mask mandate for public transport reinstated – with its Justice Department having the following to say on the matter:

“None of the district court’s quarrels with the CDC order comes close to showing that the CDC has acted outside the ‘zone of reasonableness,’” the department wrote.

Woman wearing a face mask whilst sitting at the airport

The Mask Mandate Saga Has Caused Confusion For Americans 

There is no doubt that following the removal of the mask mandate by a federal judge in Florida, there has been a certain amount of confusion among American citizens – which in some situations has caused chaos and arguments to prevail, in particular across transportation hubs around the country.

Photo of a judge's hammer (gavel) and a face mask

This is because following the removal of the mandate – which basically meant that it was no longer a ‘legal’ requirement to wear a mask when using public transport throughout the U.S. – some transportation hubs were still requiring passengers to wear one.

For example, this was the case at some airport terminals around the country, with passengers at LGA and JFK airports in New York City still being asked to wear a face mask when inside their terminal buildings – although they were not required to wear one once they boarded their plane.

Woman wearing a face mask inside airport terminal building

Similar situations were also happening at cruise ship terminals around the U.S. – with each terminal making its own decision on whether passengers were required to wear a mask, or not, when on their premises.

And, in the following few days after the court’s ruling that the U.S. government’s mask mandate for public transport was ‘unlawful’, we saw the nation’s airlines, as well as major ride-share companies, Uber and Lyft, also release their own statements regarding the removal of the mandate.

Family wearing a face mask at airport

Will The Mask Mandate For Public Transport Be Reinstated?

For now, we do not know the answer to this – with the government’s appeal having only just been filed at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday (31 May).

At this moment in time, however, masks are still NOT a legal requirement when using public transport throughout the United States – even though the CDC does recommend that passengers “wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.”

A sign at the entrance of the HQ for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This U.S. State Recently Urged Tourists To Wear Face Masks

Just two weeks ago we reported that the city of New York was urging tourists in the city to wear face masks due to the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 – BA.2.12.1.

NYC’s Commissioner of Health and Human Hygiene, Ashwin Vasan, at the time advised all residents – as well as tourists visiting the city – to wear a face mask ‘at all times’ when in indoor venues and public spaces.

Young Male Wearing A Face Mask In The New York Metro, United States of America

Masks Are No Longer Mandatory On Flights In Europe

Last month we reported that the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) had announced that it would no longer be a mandatory requirement for passengers to wear a face mask (from 16 May) when transiting at airports – and on board flights – in Europe.

Read more:

Tourists Urged To Wear Face Masks In New York As New Variant Spreads

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2022

Cancun Officially Removes The Use Of All Face Masks

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories

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