If you were hoping to ditch that mask onboard your flight starting next month, think again. The federal government is reportedly planning to extend the federal mask mandate through January 18, 2022.
Federal Mask Mandate Extended To At Least January 18, 2022
The current federal mask mandate, which requires masks to be worn at airports and train stations and on airplanes, trains, and buses was set to expire on September 13, 2021. But with the delta variant a growing concern in many parts of the United States, the mandate will be extended.
Per Reuters, airlines were informed of the extension today on a call which included officials from the:
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Marty Cetron, the CDC official who signed the mask mandate, noted:
“Masks are really powerful and we should make sure they’re part of our arsenal. The truth is that the unvaccinated portion that’s out there is extremely vulnerable.”
Masks have become a political flashpoint, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) attributing the majority of bad behavior onboard airlines this year to mask compliance. Republicans in Congress have proposed a bill that would ban the federal government from requiring masks on public transport, including airplanes.
Thus far, both government officials and airlines have refused to comment on the rumored extension.
The federal mask mandate, originally set to expire on September 13th, will reportedly be extended through at least January 18th. The extension will likely contribute to more bad behavior in the skies.
image: American Airlines