CDC extending travel mask mandate 15 more days

The CDC is extending its mask mandate despite protests from airlines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will extend its travel mask mandate for 15 more days despite protests from airlines.

President Biden's administration had previously extended the federal mask mandate to April 18 in early March. Airline CEOS united in calling on Biden to end the mandate on March 24, but to no avail.

MASKS ON PLANES, TRAINS: WHAT TO KNOW

Biden's CDC is making the extension due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Natalia Abrahao is lifted up by her fiancé Mark Ogertsehnig as they greet one another at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig / AP Newsroom)

"CDC continues to monitor the spread of the Omicron variant, especially the BA.2 subvariant that now makes up more than 85% of U.S. cases," said CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund. "Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the U.S.  In order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, the CDC Order will remain in place at this time. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to extend the security directive and emergency amendment for 15 days, through May 3, 2022."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 42.23 +1.40 +3.43%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 48.41 +2.34 +5.08%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 18.13 +0.89 +5.16%

"It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do," the letter said.

TSA TO EXTEND COVID MASK MANDATE FOR ANOTHER MONTH

"Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions — including the international predeparture testing requirement and the federal mask mandate — that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment," the letter continued.

FILE PHOTO: TSA officers at Logan International Airport in Boston, March 11, 2020.  (REUTERS/Brian Snyder / Reuters Photos)

CEOs of Alaska Air, Atlas Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and Airlines for America signed the letter.

The CEOs went on to argue that enforcing the mask mandates has taken a toll on their employees, who have experienced an increase in unruly customers due to masking-related conflicts.

FAA STATS SHOW UNRULY PASSENGERS ARE ON THE RISE

The federal travel mask mandate has remained in place even as all 50 states have announced plans to end mask mandates.