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US plans to extend transportation mask mandate through Jan 18: Report

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden's administration plans to extend requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through Jan 18 to address ongoing COVID-19 risks, three sources told Reuters.

Major US airlines were informed of the planned extension on a call with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday (Aug 17), the three people briefed on the matter said.

The current TSA transportation mask order runs through Sep 13.

TSA declined comment and CDC officials did not immediately comment.

The current CDC order, which has been in place since soon after Biden took office in January, requires the use of face masks on nearly all forms of public transportation.

It requires face masks to be worn by all travellers on airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-shares and at transportation hubs such as airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations and seaports.

The requirements have been the source of some friction, especially aboard US airlines, where some travellers have refused to wear masks. The Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday that since Jan 1 it has received reports from airlines of 2,867 passengers refusing to wear a mask.

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Source: Reuters

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