The Transportation Security Administration is extending the Biden-era transportation mask mandate.
Airline officials and politicians joined flight attendants in calling for an extension of the Transportation Security Administration mandate to wear face masks in U.S. airports and on all flights.
The mandate was enacted to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The rule requiring masks on all travelers in airports, airplanes, terminals, trains, buses and boats was set to expire May 11. The mandate now lasts until September 13.
Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, represents more than 50,000 crew members worldwide. She weighed in on the matter last week, writing a letter to the TSA and saying “Flight attendants and passengers need the leadership and support of the TSA to maintain and improve compliance with the CDC mask order.’
“I encourage the administration to be proactive regarding masks on aircraft and I support federal efforts to ensure that passengers wear masks on planes and that crews have tools to enforce those protections,” Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Az) said at a Senate hearing on safety in air travel earlier this week.
“I am concerned that those protections may prematurely end next month. So I’m calling on the administration to extend those policies which have provided clarity for travelers, offered certainty for crews and prevented the spread of disease.”
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said during the hearing that there was “every reason to believe” the mandate would be extended. But he also questioned how long it should last.
“Someday the mask requirement needs to end,” he said.