CDC Extends Federal Mask Mandate On Airplanes & Trains Through May 3

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a two-week extension of the federal mask mandate on airplanes and trains Wednesday.

The current mandate was set to conclude on April 18, but will now be in effect through at least May 3. The CDC cites the sudden spread of the new Omicron subvariant, B.A. 2, which reportedly makes up more than 85% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. More time, the CDC says, is needed to analyze the potential dangers of the new subvariant.

"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 CDC said.

We're now two years removed from the beginning of the pandemic, and it appears that more time is still needed. All while airlines and passengers across the country are growing tired of the current mandate.

Just last month, the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines among others, came together and issued a joint statement to the Biden administration, pointing out the inconsistencies in mask mandates across the country.

"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 CEOs wrote.

Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, also said that the mandate wasn't rooted in any science.

"Neither restriction is currently supported by data and science in today’s public health environment," Calio said.

But for the CDC, mask mandates aren't about being right -- they're about control.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has already chimed in and said that Florida and other states will fight the mandate in court.

"Biden's extension of the transportation mask mandate simply prolongs the misery that passengers and flight attendants are being forced to endure," DeSantis wrote, via Twitter. "This is not evidence based, but simply more COVID theater. This is the Biden equivalent of continuing the beatings until moral improves. I'm glad Florida and other states are fighting this mandate in court."

And with the CDC set to end the Title 42 policy on May 23, which was created under the Trump administration in an effort to limit migration due to COVID-19, OutKick's Clay Travis said the continuation of the mask mandate makes zero sense.

"The CDC has extended the airplane mask mandate an additional two weeks because being on airplanes without a mask isn’t safe due to covid," Travis wrote via Twitter. "Simultaneously the same CDC has opened up our Southern border and ended Title 42 because they say covid is no longer a threat."

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Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.