How many times was the COVID-19 mask mandate extended?


(NewsNation) — A federal judge in Florida this week struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate on public transit including trains and planes.

Most major U.S. airlines quickly responded by making masks optional. But how many times was the mask mandate extended before this?

The mask mandate enforcing masks on public transportation, which was initiated on President Joe Biden’s first day in office, was extended a total of five times. That original mandate, which went into effect Feb. 1, 2021, was extended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April 2021 as variant-driven COVID-19 waves began hitting the United States.

That first extension was intended to last until September 2021, but it was renewed in August until January 2022 amid the delta variant.

Another intense COVID-19 winter surge, fueled by the omicron variant, marked another extension of the mask mandate, this time until March 18. After that, the next extension was only intended to last about a month until April 18. The final extension was set to last until May 3.

Despite a federal mandate having only been in place since 2021, individual airlines put their own mandates into effect as early as May 2020.

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