The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made a sweeping order, which makes face masks mandatory for all forms of public transportation in the US. The US has been reporting thousands of deaths related to COVID19 recently. The mandate will require all travelers on airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and transportation hubs to wear face masks while traveling. President Joe Biden has asked all the government agencies to take immediate action to make masks mandatory in airports on commercial aircraft, trains, intercity buses, ferries, and all public transportation. In the tenure of Donald Trump, the decision of making masks mandatory has been blocked and the agency has only issued a strong recommendation for mask use. The officials from the CDC have said that making masks mandatory on transportation systems will offer safety and protection to people. It will make people confident that they can travel safely during the pandemic. They have said that the new order will make not wearing masks a violation of federal law. While airlines have already made mask mandatory, the new order will help flight attendants to enforce the law more stringently. A US airline group has barred thousands of people from traveling in the future as they have failed to comply with the face mask policies of the airline.
The CDC has warned people saying that people who will violate the mask mandate will have to face criminal penalties. The order will be forced by the Transportation Security Administration, and federal, state, and local agencies. As per the new order, travelers need to wear masks in transit except for some brief periods such as while eating drinking or taking medicines. People can use homemade masks or manufactured by a company. Kinds under the age of 2 years with certain medical issues are exempted. People in private cars and solo commercial trucks as well are exempted. Many airlines in the US have reported that many passengers have been requesting to opt-out of mask policies on certain health grounds. The agency has said that airlines and other modes of transport need to see medical documents by a medical specialist and a negative COVID test report of travelers before allowing them to board the plane or other types of transport.
The CDC has said that they will soon make a negative test mandatory for domestic air travel. The officials have already made a negative test report compulsory for international air travel. The CDC has said that airlines or other operators can bar any traveler who refuses to follow the new order. The government agencies are going to submit plans to implement another Joe Biden order, which will require mask-wearing in all federal buildings and all federal lands. A White House memo has clearly mentioned that the domestic travel for federal employees should be only for mission-critical trips. The memo has said that there should be only 25 percent occupancy in federal offices.