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CDC to extend the travel mask mandate again

The mask mandate for airplanes will continue amid a recent uptick in COVID cases

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Air travelers wear masks in Dallas.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, air travelers wear masks and are separated by plexiglass as they make their way through security at Love Field in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021.

LM Otero, Associated Press

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to extend the travel mask mandate for planes and trains for two weeks amid the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, per The Associated Press.

Driving the news: The CDC said Wednesday that the Biden administration will extend the mask mandate, which ends on April 18.

  • The administration will use that tie “to monitor for any observable increase in severe virus outcomes as cases rise in parts of the country,” per AP.
  • This is a cautious move for the Biden administration to avoid another wave of coronavirus cases.

Of note: Biden’s administration planned to roll out a flexible mask mandate schedule before the decision was changed to extend the mandate, sources told AP.

Flashback: The CDC announced back at the end of March it would extend the federal transportation mask mandate.

The bigger picture: Extending the mask mandate for travelers hasn’t been met with open arms.

  • In fact, pilots with JetBlue, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines sued the CDC over the extension at the end of March, saying they had “serious concerns about the safety implications” of unruly passengers on flights, per Business Insider.

Worth watching: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic already eased their masking requirements, the Deseret News’ Gitanjali Poonia writes.

  • Masks are only required when the travel destination has mask requirements in place already.