The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended the federal mask mandate for passengers traveling on airplanes and public transportation.
Following the latest CDC statement, which was released on April 13, 2022, the mask requirement has been extended for a further two weeks and will now be valid until May 3, 2022.
The decision was made as the CDC continues to monitor the spread of the Omicron variant, especially the BA.2 subvariant, which currently makes up more than 85% of the country’s COVID-19 cases.
The health agency added that the mask mandate will remain in place “while the CDC assesses the potential impact of the rise of cases on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and healthcare system capacity”.
However, the order, which requires people to wear masks during interstate transportation and at transit hubs, which includes airplanes, mass transit, taxis, ride-share vehicles, and trains, could be canceled if the infection numbers remain “relatively low”.
The CDC first implemented a mask requirement in early February 2021.