A notice that masks are required will appear as travelers prepare to check-in for a flight in Miami on February 1. The Transportation Security Administration has strict regulations about wearing masks when traveling domestically. Joe Raedle / Getty Images hide subtitles
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Wearing a face mask will continue to be required at airports, on board commercial flights, and on other public transport throughout the country during the summer.
The federal mask mandate, which should expire on May 11, remains loud updated instructions issued by the Transportation Security Administration on Friday.
The rule also applies to buses and rail systems and was put in place first by President Biden shortly after taking office in January.
Major US commercial airlines have been operating for over a year requires all passengers who are over 2 years old to wear face masks on flights. Politics has triggered a certain backlash of people who refuse to keep their masks and often delay flights.
The TSA renewal comes in as average U.S. confirmed cases of COVID-19 and coronavirus deaths continue to sink.
“The state mask requirement across the transportation system aims to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in public transportation,” TSA senior official Darby LaJoye said in a statement.
“We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these guidelines and recognize the significant level of compliance that has been achieved to date,” she added.
Just this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask when they are outside unless they’re in a crowd.
According to Vaccine tracker from NPROver 40% of the US population have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and around 30% are fully vaccinated. CDC data also suggests nearly 85% of the country could be fully vaccinated by the end of August.
The number of trips is also increasing. TSA reported 1.56 million people traveled through airport checkpoints on Friday, compared to around 171,000 on the same day in 2020. TSA reported just weeks earlier the highest point of air travel since the beginning of the pandemic with over 1.58 million travelers. Nevertheless, the numbers remain significantly lower than in 2019.
In early April, the CDC announced that Americans were fully vaccinated can travel safely in the US while they are still wearing a mask and socially distancing themselves. The guidelines explicitly state that unnecessary travel should continue to be avoided whenever possible.
While the prospect of Americans traveling internationally faces additional obstacles, fully vaccinated Americans are allowed to travel to countries within the European Union this summer. Currently traveling to the US from much of Europe limited.
A handful of international travel bans also apply to several countries outside the European Union, including the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, where contagious variants of the virus have emerged.
India is the youngest country to face tightened US restrictions after continuing Increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the country. The ban on travelers from India is due to officially take effect on Tuesday.