Several US Carriers Drop Mask Mandates

Several major airlines in the United States, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines, announced that masks are no longer required for passengers on their planes.

The announcements followed suit after a federal court in Florida overturned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s face-mask requirement for aircraft and public transportation on Monday.

The Biden administration enacted the regulation in February 2021, and it has since been extended several times and challenged in court.

American Airlines said in a statement that it “Prioritized the health and safety of its team members and customers throughout the pandemic and has supported the federal government’s measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration no longer enforcing the federal face mask mandate, face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at U.S. airports and on domestic flights.”

Similarly, Alaska Airlines vice president of safety and security Max Tidwell announced that “It has been a long 24 months with nearly constant change. I could not be prouder of our frontline employees who have handled every pivot focusing on safety and the care we’re known for,” adding “We’re also thankful for our guests who remained considerate, patient, and stood by us throughout every twist and turn.”

The Biden administration also declared that the Transportation Security Administration will no longer enforce the rule, though it was unclear whether the Justice Department will appeal.

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