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Enforcement of Mask Mandate Halted Page Hero Image

Enforcement of Mask Mandate Halted

Enforcement of Mask Mandate Halted

April 18, 2022

Following a decision earlier today by a federal judge in Florida to overturn the CDC’s national mask mandate on public transportation, in airports, and on airlines, the Transportation Security Administration effective immediately will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs.

White House officials released the following statement this evening:

The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.

As noted earlier today, the ruling declared the mask mandate “unlawful” and indicated that it “exceeds CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).” U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said in her 59-page ruling that the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely because non-enforcement of the order for the limited group of people who objected to it in the lawsuit would be impossible.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the ruling disappointing and said the federal government is determining its response.

“This is obviously a disappointing decision. The CDC continues recommending wearing a mask in public transit,” Psaki said during a White House briefing today. She indicated that the CDC and Department of Homeland Security are reviewing the decision and that the Department of Justice would be making determinations about litigation.

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