(NewsNation) – A federal judge in Florida this week knocked down the Biden administration’s mask mandate on public transport including trains and planes.
Most major US airlines responded quickly by making masks optional. But how many times was the mask mandate extended before this?
The mask mandate to enforce masks on public transportation, which began on President Joe Biden’s first day in office, was extended a total of five times. The original mandate, which took effect on February 1, 2021, was extended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April 2021, as variant-powered COVID-19 waves began to hit the United States.
The first extension was intended to last until September 2021, but it was renewed in August to January 2022 in the middle of the delta variant.
Another intense COVID-19 winter rise, driven by the omicron variant, marked yet another extension of the mask mandate, this time until March 18th. Thereafter, the next extension was only intended to last about a month until April 18th. The last extension was set to last until May 3rd.
Despite the fact that a federal mandate has only been in place since 2021, individual airlines put their own mandates into effect as early as May 2020.