The video above is from a previous newscast on April 19, 2022.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A federal judge in Florida struck down a national mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit. The judge’s decision freed airlines, airports, and mass transit systems to make their own decisions about mask requirements.
The Justice Department said Tuesday it will not appeal a federal district judge’s ruling that ended the nation’s federal mask mandate on public transit unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the requirement is still necessary.
Here’s what you need to know in Connecticut.
AIRPORTS & AIRPLANES
The Connecticut Airport Authority, which oversees Bradley International Airport and five smaller airports, is no longer enforcing a mask mandate at any of its airports. Tweed New Haven Airport is not requiring masks but encouraged passengers to still wear masks inside the terminal.
Several airlines, including Delta, American, Spirit, Southwest and United, publicly announced they will no longer enforce masks.
For a look at where each major airline stands, click here.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation officials announced Wednesday that masks are no longer required on Harford Line and Shore Line East services and facilities in the state.
Passengers and employees must still wear a mask on New Haven Line services, which are operated by Metro-North.
Amtrak said you can ditch them, but “masks are welcome and remain an important preventative measure against COVID-19.”
Masks are no longer required on CT Transit, Peter Pan and Greyhound buses.
Masks are no longer required for Uber and Lyft riders and drivers.
Uber users received an email Tuesday morning stating, “The CDC order requiring masks while using rideshare platforms such as Uber is no longer in effect, and we’ve revised our COVID-19 mask and front-seat policies accordingly.”
The revised front-seat policy means riders can sit in the front seat if they are part of a large group.
In a tweet, Lyft said, “Comfort levels may vary, so we encourage those who wish to continue wearing a mask to do so.”
Travelers News 8 spoke with said they’re keeping their masks on for now.
“We’re still in a pandemic, so it’s just making sure everyone is safe,” Aly Flanagan of Glastonbury said. “I think it’s a good idea.”
While some are celebrating this news, others fear this move is premature.
“Taking into account that masking works and numbers are rising, probably not the best time to relax all of these things,” Dr. Ulysses Wu of Hartford HealthCare said.
Wu offered some advice to travelers.
“Number one, make sure you’re vaccinated, make sure you’re boosted,” he said. “Number two, if you’re sick, don’t take these things: don’t go on airplanes, don’t go on buses, don’t go on trains. Number three, even if two people masking is better than one person masking. One person masking is better than no people masking as well.”
The Connecticut Department of Transportation officials said they continue to wait for further guidance and clarification from the federal government on whether they will appeal the recent court ruling.
In a statement released Tuesday, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the CDC had said it would continue to assess public health conditions, and if the agency determined a mandate was necessary for public health, the Justice Department would file an appeal.