A Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport volunteer at the information desk helps a traveler navigate the airport. The Metropolitan Airports Commission that manages the airport announced on Monday, April 18, 2022 that masks will now be optional at the airport following a ruling by a federal judge in Florida invalidating the federal mask mandate on public transportation. Photo: Courtesy of the MAC.
A Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport volunteer at the information desk helps a traveler navigate the airport. The Metropolitan Airports Commission that manages the airport announced on Monday, April 18, 2022 that masks will now be optional at the airport following a ruling by a federal judge in Florida invalidating the federal mask mandate on public transportation. Photo: Courtesy of the MAC.

You will no longer have to wear a face mask at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport or on Metro Transit tarins and buses after a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the federal mask mandate airplanes, trains, buses and other public transportation.

The CDC just last week extended it through May 3 to allow the agency more time to study the effects of the BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus. The new subvariant is responsible for most new cases in the U.S.

Following U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s 59-page ruling, a Trump appointee, the White House called it “obviously a disappointing decision.” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “The CDC is recommending wearing a mask on public transit.”

After most of the major airlines issued statements saying masks will no longer be enforced onboard following the ruling, the Metropolitan Airports Commission followed by announcing Monday evening that masks would be optional at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and its six general aviation airports.

“Effective immediately, wearing masks will be optional after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued guidance that it will no longer enforce mask-related regulations and will be withdrawing security directives that required face masks at airports, on aircraft and other forms of public transportation,” MAC spokesman Jeff Lea said.

Metro Transit also posted on its website that it will no longer require riders to wear masks but encouraged them to do so and not to ride the trains and buses if one is ill.

“As of April 18, 2022, the federal order requiring masks on transit is no longer in effect. The Center for Diseases Control and Prevention continues to recommend that masks be worn in indoor public transportation settings,” the Metro Transit statement said.

About Tom Gitaa

Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, President and Publisher of Mshale. As the founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation. Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dishnetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. Tom also served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. He retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on half marathons.

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