On Monday in Florida, Federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizell has ruled that the Biden administration’s federal mask mandate was unlawful. The mandate was for airplanes and other forms of public transit.
Judge Mizelle, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled that the federal mask mandate on buses, trains and airplanes exceeded the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention’s (DCD) authority. The judge said the national public health agency had exceeded its legal powers in issuing the mandate.

This new ruling will now force airlines and other public transportation to decide if they will enforce a mask mandate on their own. This ruling comes just a few days after the CDC announced it was extending its mask mandate on planes and other mass transportation methods due to the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. The CDC had just announced last week that they were extending the mandate until May 3.

According to Newsweek, they reached out to several U.S. airline carriers to determine their position on masks in the wake of Mizelle’s ruling. Delta Airlines declined to make any comments on the ruling, while a spokesperson for Allegiant Airlines told Newsweek that its mask policy remains unchanged at this time. This seemed to be the trend of everyone contacted.

Most were in line with what the Allegiant spokesperson said, “This is a dynamic situation that we are closely monitoring, as we’re anticipating further clarification on the implementation of the judge’s order.”

Of course, in addition to airlines, the federal mask mandate also applied to trains and buses in the United States.

Tim Minton, communications director for New York’s Metropolitan Transortation Authority (MTA), told Newsweek that the MTA is “continuing to follow CDC guidelines and will review the Florida court order.”

Amtrak also said in a statement, “As we have seen with the vaccine mandates, these court decisions are subject to review on appeal. Pending further information from TSA and FRA about their mask mandate Guidance, Amtrak’s mask mandate remains in place.”

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida praised the judge’s decision to strike down the mask mandate on airplanes.

“Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate,” Desantis wrote on Twitter. “Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end.”

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