Face masks required for public travel

ATLANTA, Jan. 30, 2021—As the nation sweeps past 26 million COVID-19 cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin requiring face masks to be worn on all forms of public transportation and transportation hubs Tuesday until further notice.

This federal public health order is in accordance with President Joseph Biden’s executive order on promoting COVID-19 safety signed Jan. 20.

Acceptable masks must cover both nose and mouth. Face shields, bandanas and scarves are not considered permissible forms of face coverings, according to the CDC.

Masks will be required beginning Feb. 2 for travel into, within or out of the United States, on airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-shares, according to a CDC release today.

The mask mandate also applies to travelers in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and seaports; train, bus and subway stations; and any other transportation areas.

Traveling on public transportation increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing people in close contact with other, often for prolonged periods, the release stated.

Face masks help prevent people with the virus, including those who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, from spreading it to others, it continued.

“Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely and consistently used by all people in public settings,” said public health Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky.

Staff and CDC news release

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