It appears that the airline mask requirement will not be extended for another two weeks.
Due to a federal judge’s order in Florida and the White House’s response, United, American, Southwest, Delta, Alaska, and other airlines announced late Monday that they would no longer demand passengers to wear face masks.
The mask mandate, which went into effect in January 2021, was supposed to expire on Monday.
Last Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that it will extend the ban until May 3 to give researchers more time to research the BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus, which is responsible for the bulk of infections in the country.
Despite repeated efforts from airlines and other travel sector authorities to loosen restrictions, the mask rule was extended for the fifth time.
Passengers boarding aircraft late Monday did so without masks for the first time in nearly two years, according to a court judgment that accelerated the timeframe and barred any appeals.
Airlines were the first to require masks, even before the government. JetBlue Airways was the first to announce the change, and other carriers swiftly followed suit.
After two years, airlines that fought for the mandate’s repeal are hurrying to eliminate the mask requirement.