As Mask Mandates Lift, Travelers and Transportation Workers Weigh COVID Risks

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Airline passengers without face masks prepare to enter a security checkpoint at San Francisco International Airport on April 19, 2022 in San Francisco, California. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will not enforce a federal Covid-19 mask mandate on airplanes or public transportation after a federal judge in Florida struck down the mandate that applied to airports, airplanes and public transportation, ruling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had overstepped its authority. The CDC still recommends wearing masks on public transit. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Airlines, transit agencies and rideshare companies across the country are no longer requiring passengers and staff to wear face coverings after a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down federal mask mandates for public transportation. That’s leaving travelers to navigate a patchwork of local rules and raising health and safety questions for some. We’ll talk about the impact of the ruling, which the Department of Justice may appeal, and hear how you’re feeling about going maskless on airplanes, trains and buses.


Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, Infectious Disease Specialist, UCSF Medical Center

Raychel Armstrong, flight attendant, Allegiant Airlines, vice president of TWU Local 577

Sergio Avedian, senior contributor, The Rideshare Guy, a blog focused on the gig economy, and part-time driver for Uber and Lyft

Selena Simmons-Duffin, health policy correspondent, NPR