Federal Judge in Florida Voids US Mask Mandate for Planes, Other Travel

Federal Judge in Florida Voids US Mask Mandate for Planes, Other Travel Federal Judge in Florida Voids US Mask Mandate for Planes, Other Travel Bus passengers aboard a bus in San Francisco wear masks. (Sipa via AP Images)

By Newsmax Wires | Monday, 18 April 2022 02:05 PM

A U.S. judge in Florida on Monday ruled that a mask mandate on public transportation is unlawful, overturning a Biden administration effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, U.S. health officials extended by 15 days the mandate requiring travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains, and in taxis, ride-share vehicles, and transit hubs, saying they needed time to assess the impact of a recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

Tampa-based U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2020, also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking.

The Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration declined to comment. The White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not immediately comment.

The Florida lawsuit was filed by a group called the Health Freedom Defense Fund in July 2021.

The CDC first issued a public health order requiring masks in interstate transportation in February 2021. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a security directive to enforce the CDC order.

The judge sent the issue back to the CDC. It was not immediately clear if the judge's order would take immediate effect.

This report contains material from Reuters and The Associated Press.