Which major airports still require masks?


Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that Washington Dulles International Airport no longer is enforcing the mask mandate.

(NewsNation) — The Transportation Security Administration no longer will enforce a mask mandate at airports or in-flight, but face coverings could still be required in some areas.

A federal judge Monday vacated a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that required passengers to wear face masks on public transportation.

“The CDC does have the ability to implement emergency procedures, but the question now is: what’s an emergency? Is something that you’ve been dealing with for two years — is that now an emergency?” criminal defense attorney Brian Watkins said. “(N)ow, two years in, are they just implementing normal policies and procedures that will always remain? I don’t think the CDC has the power to do that and that is basically what the court ruled.”

The ruling preceded a TSA announcement that the agency no longer would enforce the national mask requirement.

The following major airports have followed suit, although masks are encouraged at some locations.

  • Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • New York JFK International Airport (JFK)
  • New York LaGuardia International Airport (LGA)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Similarly, passengers boarding flights on United, Southwest, Delta or American Airlines will not be required to wear a mask.

Local rules remain in effect in some areas, however. Philadelphia for example, was the first major U.S. city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate and will continue to require face coverings at Philadelphia International Airport.

Other airports that will continue to enforce mask use include:

  • New York JFK International Airport (JFK)
  • New York LaGuardia International Airport (LGA)

The decisions followed Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Florida, who said the national mask requirement exceeded the authority of U.S. health officials during the pandemic.

The mandate couldn’t be lifted for only a certain group of people, Mizelle said, noting that: “a limited remedy would be no remedy at all.”

Although the mandate was set to expire Monday, the CDC had recently extended it to May 3 to allow more time to study the BA.2 omicron subvariant of the virus.

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