March 10, 2022
On March 10, Federal officials announced that people will need to wear a mask on public transportation for at least another month.
The requirement, which is enforced by the Transportation Security Administration, had been set to expire on March 18, but was extended by a month to allow the public health agency time to develop new, more targeted policies. The requirement extends to planes, buses, trains and transit hubs.
According to the official, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the announcement ahead 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. Thursday's announcement came as COVID-19 cases are plummeting, but the death toll remains relatively high, at over 1,000 Americans a day.
As people will continue to be required to wear masks, travelers are weighing in.
"I have no problem with that, because it’s for everyone safety," said Mary Smith.
"I complied, and I was good in the beginning because we are all so scared, but I'm just ready to move on," said Rosie Scianna.
"When I'm working, I still wear my mask when I’m around clients, but as far as right now, I feel safe because I just got it over a month ago," said Robyn Tornabbni.
Mask mandates remain a touchy topic, and has led to a steep rise in passengers behaving badly. The FAA has since adopted a zero tolerance policy, as well as doubling fines for unruly passengers.
"I mean, it's not that big of a deal for me," said Andrew Scott. "It's not the most comfortable thing on earth, but it is what it is. I get used to it, and that's all there is."
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.