A federal judge in Florida took down a national mask requirement for aircraft and public transportation, and airports and airlines quickly began removing their restrictions for passengers to wear face masks.
WATCH the news video: A Florida judge has overturned a national mask mandate for public transportation and air travel, claiming that the CDC failed to justify it. CBS News transportation correspondent Errol Barnett joins CBS News’ Tanya Rivero to discuss the ruling, as well as a decision to ease COVID-related travel restrictions on 89 countries.
Because of the judge’s decision, airlines, airports, and mass transport systems have been allowed to make their own decisions concerning mask regulations, resulting in a variety of reactions.
The main airlines resorted to a mask-optional policy, with some announcements over loudspeakers evoking applause from customers. The Transportation Security Administration announced Monday night that the mask requirement would no longer be enforced, and airports in Houston and Dallas almost quickly repealed their rules in response to the TSA news, per reports.
Los Angeles International Airport, the world’s fifth-busiest by passenger volume, similarly discontinued its regulation, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advocate masks on public transit, “which I believe is appropriate advice,” said Heath Montgomery, a spokesperson for LAX.
Passengers on a Delta Air Lines aircraft between Atlanta and Barcelona rejoiced and applauded as the news was relayed mid-flight over the Atlantic by a flight attendant.
In a video recorded by Dillon Thomas, a CBS reporter that was on the airline, the flight attendant adds, “No one is delighted than we are.” People who chose to keep their masks on were welcomed to do so, she added.
“However, we’re prepared to give them up,” she continued. “Thank you, and have a wonderful unmasking day!”
The mask restriction in New York City’s public transportation system was set to remain in place. Riders on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s buses and trains will be able to choose whether or not to wear masks.
Because its members are divided on the subject, the Association of Flight Crew, the nation’s biggest organization of cabin employees, recently took a moderate stance on the mask ban. The union’s head called for calm on aircraft and in airports on Monday.
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