Updated: Apr 17
Agency wants to look at recent uptick in cases.
The White House and the CDC have announced a 15-day extension of the mask mandate for all forms of public transportation.
A statement from the CDC read, "During the 15-day extension period, CDC will assess the potential impact the recent rise of Covid-19 cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations, deaths, and healthcare system capacity," the TSA said. "TSA will continue to coordinate closely with CDC and communicate any changes to this requirement with the public." The decision comes amid rising Covid-19 case counts in the U.S., fueled by the BA.2 omicron subvariant, which now makes up 85% of Covid cases in the U.S.
The CDC made this decision despite the pleas from Airline Presidents to drop the mandate. The FAA reports that carriers reported 1,150 unruly passenger incidents so far this year, 744 of which were related to face masks.
Republican lawmakers in Washington were not happy that this decision was made and felt it was hypocritical. According to one Senator, the Biden Administration announced it would repeal Title 42 at the southern border (because COVID-19 is over) while extending the transportation mask mandate for Americans (because COVID-19 isn't over).