coronavirus in connecticut

Travel Mask Mandate: CT Will Still Require Face Masks on Some Mass Transit

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The Connecticut Airport Authority will no longer require face masks at its airports, but you will need to continue to wear a mask on some mass transit in Connecticut after a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down a national mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit.

However, the Connecticut Department of Transportation said passengers and employees must continue wearing a mask on CTtransit buses and Metro-North, Hartford Line, and Shore Line East rail services in Connecticut.

The DOT said it will wait for further guidance and clarification from the federal government on whether they will appeal the recent court ruling.

The judge’s decision allows airlines, airports and mass transit systems to make their own decisions about mask requirements.

On Monday night, the Transportation Security Administration said that it would no longer enforce the mask requirement.

The announcement from the TSA came hours after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the CDC overstepped its authority when it issued a mask mandate for public transportation.

Face Mask Rules for Airlines, CT Airports

“Following the recent court ruling and changes to the enforcement of the TSA Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring masks across the transportation industry, effective immediately, the CAA will no longer enforce a mask mandate at our airports. We will continue to coordinate closely with our regulatory partners regarding any additional changes,” the Connecticut Airport Authority said in a statement.

The Connecticut Airport Authority operates Bradley International Airport and the five state-owned general aviation airports - Danielson, Groton-New London, Hartford-Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford, and Windham.

Here's a look at which major U.S. airlines are lifting their mask mandates for domestic flights.

MTA Face Mask Requirements

New York City's public transit system also plans to keep its mask requirement in place.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority communications director Tim Minton said the system was “continuing to follow CDC guidelines and will review the Florida court order.”

Face coverings have been mandatory on all MTA trains and buses since early in the pandemic.

Rideshare Mask Requirements

Uber and Lyft will no longer require riders and drivers to wear masks.

Uber says that riders and drivers are no longer required to wear masks while using the service.

The Federal Ruling on Face Masks on Mass Transit

The mask requirement covered airlines, airports, mass transit and taxis, and was the biggest vestige of pandemic restrictions that were once the norm across the country.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, also said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.

Videos posted to social media show the moment the mask mandate for flights was lifted.

Federal Government Response on Face Mask Ruling

The Justice Department declined to comment when asked if it would seek an emergency stay to block the judge's order. The CDC also declined to comment.

The White House said the court ruling means that for now the mask order “is not in effect at this time.”

“This is obviously a disappointing decision, “White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “The CDC is recommending wearing a mask on public transit.”

The CDC had recently extended the mask mandate, which was set to expire Monday, until May 3 to allow more time to study the BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus now responsible for the vast majority of cases in the U.S.

NBC Connecticut and Associated Press
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