Tuesday, September 27, 2022

SMF, Amtrak, SacRT no longer require masks after federal ruling

After a federal judge in Florida on Monday voided the national mask mandate for airlines and other forms of public transportation, multiple agencies in Northern California said they will stop requiring face coverings.Because of that court ruling, the TSA told KCRA 3 it would “no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs.”The change in policy took effect immediately.A spokesperson with Sacramento International Airport said in an email that the airport won’t be requiring face masks of passengers and staff, due to the TSA’s new directive. Amtrak is also following suit, saying that both passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while onboard trains or in stations. Masks are welcome if people choose to still wear one.Sacramento Regional Transit in a written statement said it will recommend masks be worn on transit but will no longer require them.”Crews will be working over the next couple days to remove all mask requirement signage on our buses and trains,” SacRT said in a statement. United Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Arilines and Southwest are also allowing people to wear masks if they want to continue to do so but will not be enforcing the mandate anymore. Delta Air Lines says it is making masks optional, and warned travelers they “may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated.”KCRA 3 was inside Sacramento International Airport as government entities and airlines were announcing the sweeping changes .Some passengers and airline staff continued to mask up, while others did not. “I’m glad you don’t have to wear a mask,” traveler Bruce Gillard said. “Obviously, I didn’t have one when I walked in and wasn’t planning on wearing one.” “I hate wearing these things,” Jason Tamayo, a passenger from Woodland, told KCRA 3.” If I don’t have to, I’m not wearing it.”Some were indifferent, like Javier Oropeza.“I don’t really mind wearing a mask,” he said and explained there will be times when he will choose to either wear a mask or not wear one. Other Sacramento travelers feel it’s too soon to go onto a plane mask-free. “I think it’s just safety,” Natalie Leighton said. “I think especially when you’re in a closed compartment with a group of other people, we’ll probably feel wearing it for peace of mind.” The previous federal travel mask mandate, recently extended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covered a vast array of transportation, from airplanes and trains to city subways and ride-sharing vehicles such as Uber. Mizelle in Tampa, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, also said the CDC improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed. In her 59-page ruling, Mizelle said the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely across the country because it would be impossible to end it for the limited group of people who objected in the lawsuit. The CDC also declined to comment.

After a federal judge in Florida on Monday voided the national mask mandate for airlines and other forms of public transportation, multiple agencies in Northern California said they will stop requiring face coverings.

Because of that court ruling, the TSA told KCRA 3 it would “no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs.”

The change in policy took effect immediately.

A spokesperson with Sacramento International Airport said in an email that the airport won’t be requiring face masks of passengers and staff, due to the TSA’s new directive.

Amtrak is also following suit, saying that both passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while onboard trains or in stations. Masks are welcome if people choose to still wear one.

Sacramento Regional Transit in a written statement said it will recommend masks be worn on transit but will no longer require them.

“Crews will be working over the next couple days to remove all mask requirement signage on our buses and trains,” SacRT said in a statement.

United Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Arilines and Southwest are also allowing people to wear masks if they want to continue to do so but will not be enforcing the mandate anymore.

Delta Air Lines says it is making masks optional, and warned travelers they “may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated.”

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KCRA 3 was inside Sacramento International Airport as government entities and airlines were announcing the sweeping changes.

Some passengers and airline staff continued to mask up, while others did not.

“I’m glad you don’t have to wear a mask,” traveler Bruce Gillard said. “Obviously, I didn’t have one when I walked in and wasn’t planning on wearing one.”

“I hate wearing these things,” Jason Tamayo, a passenger from Woodland, told KCRA 3.” If I don’t have to, I’m not wearing it.”

Some were indifferent, like Javier Oropeza.

“I don’t really mind wearing a mask,” he said and explained there will be times when he will choose to either wear a mask or not wear one.

Other Sacramento travelers feel it’s too soon to go onto a plane mask-free.

“I think it’s just safety,” Natalie Leighton said. “I think especially when you’re in a closed compartment with a group of other people, we’ll probably feel wearing it for peace of mind.”

The previous federal travel mask mandate, recently extended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covered a vast array of transportation, from airplanes and trains to city subways and ride-sharing vehicles such as Uber.

The decision by US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, also said the CDC improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.

In her 59-page ruling, Mizelle said the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely across the country because it would be impossible to end it for the limited group of people who objected in the lawsuit.

The Justice Department declined to comment Monday when asked if the government planned to appeal the ruling. The CDC also declined to comment.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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