A decision by a federal judge in Florida to throw out a national mask mandate in public transportation across the U.S. created a patchwork of rules Monday that vary by city and mode of transit.
Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Houston to New York, for instance, could ditch their masks at the airport and on the plane but have to put them back to ride a bus or train once they arrived in New York. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recently extended the mandate until May 3 to allow more time to study the BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus now responsible for the vast majority of U.S. cases. But the Biden administration said Monday the rule would not be enforced while federal agencies decide how to respond to the judge’s order.
So how do the rules break down by how and where you travel? Rules have quickly been changing as decisions are made.
The MTA, which runs the subways and buses in NYC along with Metro North and LIRR, plans to keep masks for now.
Riders can ditch their face coverings.
Amtrak is no longer requiring passengers to wear masks while onboard trains and in stations
The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission said masks are still required in taxis and for-hire vehicles.
Riders and drivers can keep their masks off if they want. However, the rules are a bit different in New York City. The TLC, which regulates app-based rides in the city, is still requiring masks. So Uber passengers and drivers in the five boroughs need to keep face coverings on, officials said.
There will be in-app reminders for riders and drivers when they’re in NYC, according to a company spokesperson.
Lyft ended their mask requirement on Tuesday. However, as with Uber, TLC rules mean riders and drivers will need to keep masks on.
“Wearing masks on transportation may still be required by law in some areas, and we encourage riders and drivers to check their local public health requirements before using Lyft,” the company wrote in their announcement.
Port Authority will continue requiring masks at the bus terminal in New York and at some regional airports. People can leave the masks off at airports run in New Jersey, but they’ll need to wear them at airports run by the Port Authority in New York. The agency will also require face coverings on the PATH train.
Major airlines have issued a range of guidance. For a breakdown, click here.