The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday night announced that travelers will be required to wear masks on all public transportation — including planes, trains and subways, ferries, buses, taxis, and ride-hail vehicles like Uber — starting Monday night. People will also have to comply at transportation hubs like airports, bus depots, and train stations, and operators and transportation workers must wear masks while on the job.
There will be exemptions for children younger than two, people with disabilities that leave them unable to wear masks, commercial truck drivers, and military transportation. People will be able to take off their masks while eating or drinking briefly.
The CDC said it will mostly rely on voluntary compliance, although enforcement will be handled by the Transportation Security Administration and other federal authorities, including the Federal Aviation Administration which had previously deferred to airlines on masks.
The mandate comes after President Biden signed an executive order earlier this month calling for “immediate action” on mask-wearing on public transportation. The CDC was prepared to issue a similar mandate last year, The Washington Post notes, but the Trump administration blocked the move. Read more at NBC News and The Washington Post.