Federal mask authorization: CDC asks Justice Department to appeal ruling on airports, public transportation

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is filing an appeal seeking to overturn a judge’s order that rescinded federal mask regulations on planes, trains and at tourist centers, officials said Wednesday. .

The announcement comes minutes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the Justice Department to appeal a decision made by a federal judge in Florida earlier this week.

A notice of appeal was filed in federal court in Tampa.

The CDC said in a statement on Wednesday that it “continues to evaluate that at this time, the order to require face coverings in indoor corridors is still necessary for public health.”

A federal judge in Florida overturned the national mask-wearing rule for public transit on Monday, prompting airlines and airports to quickly rescind their requirement that passengers wear a scarf. masked. The Transportation Security Administration said Monday that it will no longer enforce the mask requirement.

The CDC recently extended the mask mandate, which was set to expire on Monday, until May 3 to give more time to study the omicron BA.2 subvariable, which is now responsible for the majority of the masks. case in the United States. But Monday’s court ruling postponed that decision.

The CDC said it will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine if the mission is still necessary. It said it believes the mandate is “a legitimate order, within the legal jurisdiction of the CDC to protect public health.”

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said Wednesday night that the department is filing an appeal “following today’s assessment by the CDC that the order requiring face coverings in transportation corridors remains necessary to protect public health.” .”

After a winter spike fueled by an omicron variant that sent record hospitalizations, the United States has seen a dramatic drop in the spread of the virus in recent months, leaving most States and cities waive the requirement to wear masks.

But several Northeast cities have seen an increase in hospitalizations in recent weeks, prompting Philadelphia to resume its mask-wearing mandate.

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