Buttigieg: Masking on flights is ‘up to you now’

Coronavirus

(NewsNation) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says his department’s main focus is making sure passengers know what to expect after a judge struck down the federal mask mandate on planes and trains earlier this week, causing mass confusion across the country.

Though nearly every major airline has lifted mask mandates as have many major local public transit systems, some major hubs like LAX, continue to enforce their own mandates.

With the new changes in place, masking in flight is “up to you now,” Buttigieg told NewsNation’s Nichole Berlie on “Rush Hour” Friday.

But the fight to determine future masking policies may not be over. The Justice Department is filing an appeal to overturn the judge’s order — a decision that has drawn criticism from some industry groups.

When asked why the DOJ appealed the decision given that the requirement was set to expire in a couple of weeks, Buttigieg said it’s mainly about clarifying what sort of public health authority the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has going forward.

So what happens if the appeal is successful; could masks return to mass transit? Buttigieg said any future requirements would depend on public health conditions at the time and reiterated the current policy.

“The bottom line is, if you’re planning to take a flight, it’s your call and you should decide what you think is the right answer for you and for your family,” he said.

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