President Joe Biden’s administration will extend requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains, and in transit hubs through April 18 as public health authorities review when requirements should be dropped, according to administration officials.
The move, which is expected be announced later Thursday, extends the current requirements that were set to expire March 18.
According to an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the announcement head of time, the CDC is developing a “revised policy framework” for when masks should be required on transit systems based off its newly released “COVID-19 community levels” metric.
The Transportation Security Administration extension comes at the CDC’s recommendation. Airline and some government officials think this could be the last nationwide extension of the mask requirements.
As of March 3 more than 90% of the U.S. population is in a location with low or medium COVID-19 Community Levels, where public face-masking is no longer recommended in indoor settings.
“We have to look not only at the science with regard to transmission in masks but also the epidemiology and the frequency that we may encounter a variant of concern or a variant of interest in our travel corridors,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on March 2, explaining why the agency was delaying removing the requirement for transit but allowed people to gather maskless in movie theaters and sports arenas. Read more at Newsmax.