Masks will be mandatory on US flights until 18 January

Photo: AP

US extended the rule to ware mandatory masks on flights to 18 January 2022. The federal rule is also valid for other public transportation, AP reported. The Transportation Security Administration noted that the extension of restrictions is aimed to curb the spread of Covid-19. The same order which is currently valid was scheduled to expire 13 September 2021, an agency spokesman said.

The TSA briefed airline industry representatives on its plan and planned to discuss it with airline unions. The mask rule also applies to employees on planes and public transportation.

The mask mandate has been controversial and has led to many conflicts between passengers who don’t want to wear a mask and flight attendants asked to enforce the rule. The Federal Aviation Administration said that airlines had reported 3,889 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, and 2,867 involved refusing to wear a mask.

“We have a responsibility in aviation to keep everyone safe and do our part to end the pandemic, rather than aid the continuation of it,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants. “We all look forward to the day masks are no longer required, but we’re not there yet,” she added.

The extension was not surprising after a recent surge in Covid-19 cases linked to the Delta variant of the virus.

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