New CDC order requires travelers to wear masks on all forms of public transportation

The CDC issued an order late Friday that requires travelers to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation in the U.S.

The CDC order goes into effect Monday, Feb. 1. It states passengers on airplanes, trains, buses, subways, ships, ferries, taxis and ride-shares must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while getting on such vehicles, during the ride and while getting off.

Additionally, people must wear masks on the premises of transportation hubs such as airports, train and subway stations, bus and ferry terminals, seaports and ports of entry. Masks must stay on while people await, board, travel and disembark public transportation.

The CDC order prompts drivers, conductors and crew members to only transport people who are wearing masks.

The CDC says in order to meet the requirement, the mask must completely cover the nose and mouth. Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers, as to not let light pass through when help up to a light source. Masks should also be secured to the hair and fit snugly against the side of the face. The mask should not have slits, exhalation valves or punctures. 

You can read more about the CDC order here

The new order echoes an executive order President Joe Biden signed shortly after taking office.

Biden’s executive order issued Jan. 21 already mandated masks on certain modes of public transportation such as commercial aircraft, trains and ferries. The president also mandated masks on federal property.

Biden has also reinstated COVID-19 travel restrictions on most non-U.S. travelers from Brazil, the U.K. and South Africa. The CDC recommends that Americans avoid travel.

With new and more contagious variants from abroad turning up in the U.S., the country is going through its most lethal phase yet despite the rollout of vaccines. The coronavirus has already sickened millions and killed roughly 430,000 people in the United States.

Scientists last week reported preliminary signs that some of the recent mutations may modestly curb the effectiveness of two vaccines, although they stressed that the shots still protect against the disease. There are also signs that some of the new mutations may undermine tests for the virus and reduce the effectiveness of certain treatments.

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This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed