The Transportation Security Administration on Friday extended a mandate that requires travelers to wear masks at airports, on planes and on commuter buses and rail networks, until September 13. The mandate was due to expire on May 11.
“Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccine and masks remain an important tool in beating this pandemic,” Darby LaJoye, a TSA spokesperson, said in a statement.
The original order went into effect in February and was part of the Biden administration’s goal of requiring masks for 100 days. The exceptions to the mandate are travelers under the age of 2 and people with certain disabilities that do not allow them to wear a mask safely.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed mask rules earlier this week, saying fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask outside when doing activities alone or at small gatherings. . But the CDC stopped before not fully recommending masks on the outside and still recommends wearing a mask on the inside.
Airlines began requiring passengers to wear masks almost a year ago, but they had no federal mandate to back up their rules. As the order’s expiration date neared, leaders in the airline industry began to push for an extension. The Flight Attendants Association applauded the extension in a statement. Earlier this month, he called for the directive to be extended to make it easier to deal with passengers who violate mask rules set by airlines and airports.