On Wednesday, the US government announced its appeal to a court decision that lifted the mandatory wearing of masks on public transportation in the United States at the beginning of the week.
The Justice Department said it wants to wait for the opinion of the country’s main federal health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before making any decision.
The CDC finally asked him on Wednesday to appeal, saying mandatory mask-wearing on transportation remains a “public health essential” against COVID-19.
“In light of the CDC’s assessment (…), the Department of Justice has initiated an appeal process,” said US State Department spokesman Anthony Cooley.
This appeal comes two days after a federal judge believed that health authorities exceeded their powers by requiring the wearing of a mask on transportation, for example on planes, trains or even buses.
In the process, the country’s major airlines have abandoned mask restrictions, and rail operator Amtrak or VTC companies such as Uber have followed suit.
Some officials later worried that the Florida coroner’s decision, if left unaddressed, would reduce the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the future.
But the call from the US government could complicate the situation, possibly creating tension for travelers if mask-wearing is eventually recommitted, when it was already difficult to respect.
Mask wearing is a very sensitive topic, especially for flight attendants and flight attendants, who have had to deal with the reluctance of many passengers over the past two years, some of whom have become violent. The agency responsible for the safety of air transportation in the United States, the FAA, has yet to report 744 mask-related accidents since the beginning of the year.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers that, at this time, a requirement that masks be worn indoors during transportation remains a public health imperative,” they wrote in a press release.
“As we said earlier, wearing a mask is beneficial mainly in very crowded and poorly ventilated places,” they added.
The health agency said it will continue to assess the health situation on an ongoing basis to determine whether this commitment is still necessary in the future.
It had decided last week to extend the obligation to wear a mask on public transport at least until May 3.
The US is now seeing a sharp rise in daily COVID-19 case numbers again, linked to Omicron’s BA.2 variant.
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