Following a federal court ruling in Florida, the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) said it could no longer enforce the mask mandate on public transportation, which led to several US airlines announcing masks would no longer be required in flight.
In a statement released today, the TSA said “effective immediately, TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs”.
The statement follows a federal court ruling in Florida on Monday that saw US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle strike down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for travelers on planes, trains, taxis, buses, and other forms of public transportation.
In a 59-page ruling, Mizelle said the mandate, introduced by the Biden administration in January 2021, went beyond the CDC’s powers. “The court concludes that the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the APA,” the judge wrote.
The White House said it is reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. “This is obviously a disappointing decision,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday. While it’s no longer mandatory, she said the CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask when using public transport.