December 1, 2022

U.S. mask mandate ends

The mask mandate across flights within the United States has now been removed.

Following the ruling of a U.S. district court judge on Monday, the Biden administration announced that the Transportation Security Administration will no longer enforce the federal mandate requiring masks in all U.S. airports and onboard aircraft.

Airlines have been quick to react. A spokesperson for Delta stated: “We are relieved to see the U.S. mask mandate lift to facilitate global travel as COVID-19 transitions to a more manageable respiratory virus – with better treatments, vaccines and other scientific measures to prevent serious illness.”

American Airlines shared the following update: “In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration no longer enforcing the federal face mask mandate, face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at U.S. airports and on domestic flights. Please note face masks may still be required based on local ordinances, or when traveling to/from certain international locations based on country requirements. In keeping with our commitment to creating a welcoming environment for everyone who travels with us, customers and team members may choose to continue to wear masks at their own discretion.”

Dr Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA CEO, commented: “After two years, airline passengers and crew are more than ready to advance to a phase of personal responsibility for COVID-19 wellness.

“The end of the U.S. airline mask mandate will be followed by the official ending of U.S. international entry testing by next month. Stay safe and stay tuned for the announcement – with an amazing summer of travel ahead!”

However, Forbes reports that not all passengers will be happy with this news. It cites a recent poll by Harris that found 60% of participants wanted the mandate to be extended, with 32% feeling strongly that it should continue. In comparison, only 21% of participants strongly opposed its extension.

What do you think? Share your thoughts.

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