On April 18, a federal court judge in Florida ruled that the mask mandate imposed on operators of intercity buses and at transit facilities exceeds the authority of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The court also held that the mandate violated the requirement for notice and comment rulemaking and the CDC failed to adequately explain its decisions. Therefore, the court declared the mandate unlawful and vacated it effective immediately.
The White House issued a statement in response stating that the Transportation Security Administration would no longer enforce the mandate and that it is up to an individual whether to wear a mask. But the U.S. Department of Justice, which is defending the mandate in the court case, will appeal the court’s decision.
The mandate was supposed to be in effect until May 3, 2022 for buses as well as commercial airplanes and at airports. Effective immediately, bus operators are no longer required to impose the requirement to wear masks on their customers or employees.
Individual state and local governments, as well as local transit facilities, might still require masks for travelers, however. In addition, Canada and Mexico still require masking of passengers on buses that cross the border from the United States.