Several Democrat-led cities including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco are requiring passengers to wear masks despite a federal judge’s order on Monday that struck down a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask rule for travel.
While travelers won’t have to wear masks inside Logan Airport in Boston, the city’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announced it will continue to follow CDC guidance and require masks in indoor transportation areas.
The authority “is continuing to follow CDC guidelines and will review the court order. We are also reaching out to our federal partners to get further guidance,” it wrote.
In San Francisco, masks are still required to be worn on Muni trains and on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains, BART wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday. Officials also told local media that masks are no longer mandated for the Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco airports.
“Face masks are still required at BART while we review our options,” BART’s San Francisco office wrote in a Twitter post. “We are seeking clarity from the state if there is a state level mask mandate for transit that we can use to continue requiring and enforcing a mask mandate.”
The transit agency also said that it’s not clear whether the mask mandate will ultimately be rescinded.
“We haven’t made an official determination if a mask mandate will continue on BART,” another Twitter post said. “Once we make a final determination, we will communicate it. We don’t want to say one thing and then immediately change it with little notice. We’ve been consistent w/ this since the ruling.”
Philadelphia this week said it would keep its indoor mask mandate, including for public transportation, intact despite the Florida judge’s ruling on Monday. The city reinstated its mask mandate on Monday, becoming the first major U.S. municipality to do so, and officials claimed that a small rise in COVID-19 cases warrants the shift in policy.
“We are evaluating the implications of this latest ruling and will provide further clarity around masking on transit in Philadelphia when available. This ruling does not impact the city’s mask mandate for certain indoor places.” James Garrow, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, told news outlets on Wednesday.
While New Jersey Transit, which operates some trains that go to and from New York City, said that it will not enforce the mask mandate, officials in New York City said that subway and bus riders will still be mandated to wear face coverings.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) communications director Tim Minton told outlets that the subway system was “continuing to follow CDC guidelines and will review the Florida court order,” meaning that riders have to still wear masks. The MTA also operates Metro-North trains and Long Island Railroad, although it doesn’t operate Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) trains.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle issued an order saying CDC’s mandate was unlawful and violated federal administrative law. The CDC told The Epoch Times that it is still reviewing her order and will make a decision on whether to determine whether the mask rule—issued in early 2021—is still needed.