Mask Mandate Lifted at Westchester County Airport; other transit services choose to maintain the requirement
A federal judge’s decision to overturn face-covering requirements on planes, trains and other public transportation is drawing a mixed reaction from travelers in the Hudson Valley.
The judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded his authority and failed to justify his decision by implementing the warrant.
Just last week, the CDC extended its mask mandate through May 3, citing rising COVID-19 numbers across the country.
Some agencies have already announced their position on the matter.
Westchester County’s MTA, Metro-North and Beeline buses both say they will keep them rolling.
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 Terminal
- 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 are now saying face coverings are optional.
And the TSA says it will no longer mandate mask-wearing on public transportation and in transportation hubs.
The Department of Homeland Security is reviewing the decision according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. She added that the administration still recommends people wear masks when traveling.
At Westchester County Airport, some travelers told News 12 they were relieved to take off their masks, while others were disappointed the warrant was no longer there.
“I still think it’s really 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 like the masks weren’t very effective. So now that it’s up, it’s going to be a lot freer-more [sic] and much more comfortable,” says Steve Glassman of Georgia.
“I feel like we’re at a point where we just have to live our lives, I’m glad they’re gone,” said Kathy Cook, of New Fairfield, Connecticut.