Following the Travel Mask Mandates: A Guide to Mask-Wearing in Transit

Per the ruling of Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, the federal mask mandate was stricken down on April 18th, 2022. Mizelle, a federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump, attributed her decision to her perception that the CDC did not provide a proper basis for the mandate. Although the CDC has asked for the US Department of Justice to appeal the decision, for the time being, Judge Mizelle’s ruling has significantly impacted multiple aspects of travel. Airports, planes, and other transit stations previously required everyone using them to wear masks under the CDC’s mandate. Now the mask guidelines are up to the discretion of the entities. With rules instilling dramatic changes at a moment's notice, it can be hard to understand what to do. This guide is meant to explain the current status of COVID and how Mizelle’s ruling affects travel.

In assessing your safety during travel, it’s important to understand the threat of COVID. In a recent interview chief medical adviser to the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that the country is moving out of the pandemic stage. He later clarified to NPR that we are gradually transitioning out of the more dire phases of the pandemic that occurred during the spikes in cases, and it is still incredibly important to be conscious and considerate of the threat that COVID poses. The gradual change that we’ve seen of late can, according to Fauci, largely be attributed to a significant number of infections and vaccinations throughout the population. Roughly 60% of the US population has been infected (although this may be underreported due to asymptomatic and mild cases), and 66% of the population have been fully vaccinated, both of which have led to fewer hospitalizations. Those factors in a vacuum may look appealing, but Fauci stressed that a pandemic encompasses the world’s population. While places like the US are steadily improving, countries like China have seen spikes in cases and lockdowns as a result.

In response to cases in the US declining along with Judge Mizelle’s ruling, airlines across the country have been changing their rules. For domestic travel most major US airlines (American Airlines, Delta, Southwest Airlines, United, and Spirit among them) no longer require masks; however, many of the airlines point out that for international travel mask requirements vary from country to country. Conversely, the CDC still recommends that everyone wear a mask while in transit, and encourages passengers to get their vaccination up to date prior to travel.

Still, Fauci insists that we exercise caution when it comes to dealing with COVID. In that same conversation with NPR, he explained that we should make a concerted effort to prevent the spread and get vaccinated regularly. To protect your workforce, it’s important to manage the health of your employees. Kokomo24/7 can help alleviate the burden of handling vaccination and testing statuses through each of our solutions in the SafetyCloud. With the help of the SafetyCloud you can screen employees for COVID symptoms, monitor vaccination and testing statuses, and document cases of COVID and other incidents. Contact us to learn more by clicking the button below.


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