Federal Officials Extends COVID Restrictions into January

 Thursday, August 19, 2021 

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Federal officials are extending into January a rule that people travelling on public transport should wear face masks. The rule applies to employees of public transports as well. This intends to put a check on the spread of the COVID 19 virus.

An agency spokesperson said on Monday that the Transportation Security Administration’s order will be extended till Jan 18. The order was scheduled to expire on Sept 13.

The mask mandate is divisive and led to many encounters among passengers and flight attendants who do not wear a mask.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that the airlines have reported 3,889 incidents involving disruptive passengers this year and 2,867 or 74% who refused to wear a mask.

Individual carriers declined to comment on President Biden’s administration’s decision. Their trade group Airlines for America said that US airlines will strictly put the rule into effect.

The mask order based on the CDC guidelines was first issued on Jan 29 after Biden came to power. Before that, airlines had their own requirements for face coverings.

The US Travel Association said that the extension of the mandate has the full support of the travel industry as it will ensure safety to passengers and aviation workers.

Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants said that the airline company has a responsibility in aviation to keep everyone safe and do their bit to end the pandemic rather than adding to its spread.

The extension is quite likely after a recent surge in COVID cases related to the Delta variant. New cases topped 140,000 in seven days which is an increase by 64% and the highest in more than six months.

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