April 21, 2022 · less than 3 min read
The mask finally slips in the US.
Score one for Florida man
A Florida court recently found that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had overstepped its authority in extending the mask mandate on public transport. The upshot is that, effective immediately, masks are now only recommended on public transport, rather than mandatory.
Interestingly, we’re yet to hear if the Biden administration will challenge the ruling, suggesting it may quietly agree the time is right to drop the masks. While the CDC’s recommendations remain in place, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) – which had initially been enforcing the rules – can no longer enforce masks. In a legal twist of dramatic proportions, the mask has suddenly slipped.
Back to business?
The lapsing of the mask mandate is excellent news for many airlines, who have fallen behind some of their European counterparts in phasing masks out. They’ve been complaining for some time that mandatory masks are putting travelers off – and that they can’t get back to business until the masks are dropped.
So, great news for some. But not so great for others. For Biden and co. it could have come at a better time; cases are on the rise in the United States, with the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant making its way throughout the population. And with scenes of a brutal lockdown in Shanghai shocking the world, health authorities will be keen to nip the latest wave in the bud.
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