On Monday, April 18th, 2022, a federal judge in Florida tossed the mask requirement on airplanes, trains, buses, and other public transits. The deadline to phase it had been extended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to May 3rd, 2022. As a result of the ruling, individual airlines and local transit agencies must individually decide whether or not to require masks.
All airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs in the United States are in the ruling. According to The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), public transportation and transportation hubs will no longer be subject to Security Directives and Emergency Amendments requiring masks to be worn. There are still several states and local transit agencies across the country that will continue to require masks.
All four of the largest airlines in the United States have dropped their mask requirements. Alaska, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit soon followed. In the meantime, passengers in New York's M.T.A. must wear masks. Train passengers and employees will no longer be required to wear masks, according to Amtrak. Masks are optional for employees and passengers on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
In February 2021, the CDC began enforcing a mask mandate urged by President Biden. Several extensions have been granted since then. Wearing a mask is still recommended in enclosed public transport settings, according to the CDC.
Per the CDC website
“As a result of a court order, effective immediately and as of April 18, 2022, CDC’s January 29, 2021 Order requiring masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect. Therefore, CDC will not enforce the Order. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.”
The White House and Justice Department are reviewing the court's ruling and deciding whether to appeal.