Mask mandate lifted at Westchester County Airport; other mass transit services opt to keep requirement
A decision by a federal judge to overturn face covering requirements on airplanes, trains and other public transit is drawing a mixed reaction from Hudson Valley travelers.
The judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its authority and failed to justify its decision by implementing the mandate.
Just last week, the CDC extended its mask mandate until May 3, citing rising COVID-19 numbers across the country.
Some agencies have already announced their stance on the matter.
The MTA, Metro-North and Beeline buses in Westchester County both say they will continue to require them to ride.
The Port Authority says the mask mandate remains in effect for the following New York facilities:
- Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal
- George Washington Bridge Bus Station
- World Trade Center Oculus Transportation Hub
- LaGuardia Airport
- JFK International Airport
- New York Stewart International Airport
However some major airlines like JetBlue, Delta, American, and others, now say face coverings are optional.
And the TSA says it will no longer enforce mask wearing on public transportation and at transportation hubs.
The Department of Homeland Security is reviewing the ruling according to the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. She added the administration still recommends people wear masks while traveling.
At the Westchester County Airport, some travelers told News 12 they were relived to take their mask off, while others are disappointed the mandate is no more.
"I still think it's very important. I'm going to see my parents in Florida and I want to be as careful as possible," says Hope Lott, of Ridgefield, Connecticut.
"I always felt that the masks were not very effective. So now this lifted, it's going to be a lot more free-er [sic] and a lot more comfortable," says Steve Glassman, of Georgia.
"I feel that we are at a point where we have to just live our lives, I'm glad they are off," says Kathy Cook, of New Fairfield, Connecticut.