Several Southwest Virginia transit services are dropping mask mandates

(WFXR) – Since a judge overturned a federal mask mandate for public transportation and the The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it will no longer enforce the rule at airportsseveral transit facilities in southwest Virginia have shared updates on their mask policies.

On Monday, April 18, after initially announcing that the mask policy would not change until it received additional information from the federal government, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport shared the following statement on Facebook:

Due to today’s court ruling, the January 29, 2021 order from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requiring masks on public transportation and in transit hubs is no longer in force. Effective immediately, the TSA will not enforce its mask safety guidelines. The TSA is also retiring security directive 1542-21-01E for airports, security directive 1544-21-02E for aircraft operators.

This means that masks are no longer required in the airport. Additionally, all carriers from ROA, American, Allegiant, Delta and United have also dropped their mask mandates.

We always recommend following CDC guidance and practicing good health and hygiene protocols.

Facebook post April 18, 2022 by Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Lynchburg Regional Airport told WFXR News it is following the same position as the TSA as there are no national or local guidelines.

As of this writing, Danville Regional Airport has yet to provide an update on its mask policies.

As for trains, Amtrak says passengers and employees no longer have to wear masks on trains or at stations, but anyone who needs or chooses to wear one is encouraged to do so to protect against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Blacksburg Transit announced Tuesday, April 19 that, effective today, masks are no longer mandatory on its buses. However, since the CDC still recommends people wear masks on public transit, Blacksburg Transit says masks will continue to be available for passengers who wish to wear them.

Radford Transit also dropped the requirement for masks on buses on Tuesday.

It remains unclear if Valley Metro, the Greater Lynchburg Transit Company or Danville Mass Transit will change their policies.

This is a developing story.

Melvin Z. Madore