Joe Biden’s government has recently found itself under increasing pressure to relax or withdraw the mask requirement.
A US judge on Monday declared the federal obligation to wear a hygienic mask on public transport illegal, which was bitterly contested in court.
Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who sits in Tampa, Fla., ruled that the American Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the federal government’s primary health agency, overstepped its prerogatives by imposing this obligation , which applies in particular to planes, trains, subways and coaches.
United Airlines said Monday that masks will no longer be required to be worn on its flights within the United States and on certain international flights, depending on rules in the country of arrival. “This means that our employees no longer have to wear masks – or in most cases make them compulsory for passengers to do so. You can choose to wear one, especially since the CDC continues to strongly recommend it on public transit.”stated a spokesman for the American group, which had been among the first to impose the anti-Covid vaccine on its employees.
Joe Biden’s government has recently found itself under increasing pressure to relax or withdraw the mask requirement. Twenty Republican-led states and several major airlines have called for an end to this measure on planes and other public transportation. But last week, federal authorities finally decided to extend the mask requirement until at least May 3.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Justice Mizelle’s decision was “disappointing“, remark that “CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask on public transit.” According to a senior White House official, the decision “means CDC’s mask-wearing policy on public transit is not currently in effect”. The Transport Security Agency, the TSA, will not enforce the obligation, the senior official said on condition of anonymity.
The Justice Department, which could appeal, did not immediately respond.