CDC requires masks on public transport and transportation hubs

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A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared masks or face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state as local officials across the state say their hospitals are becoming increasingly stretched and are in danger of becoming overrun as cases of the coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is requiring transportation operators to require all travelers to wear masks while boarding, during the duration of travel and while disembarking.

The action comes as part of President Biden’s executive order on promoting COVID-19 safety.

The requirement will be in place for travelers coming in and out of the country and within. It will also be in effect at transportation hubs such as airports, seaports, bus stops, train stations, etc., and during travel on planes, buses, ride shares, etc.

The CDC said that as essential travel is, it can lead to interstate and international spread of the virus.

“America’s transportation systems are essential,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, said.  “Given how interconnected most transportation systems are across our nation and the world, when infected persons travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks, the risk of interstate and international transmission can grow quickly.”

Public transportation can increase the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19, but face masks can help lower that risk, the CDC said.

“CDC recommends that non-essential travel be avoided; however, for those who must travel, additional measures are being put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus,” Dr. Walensky said.  “Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely and consistently used by all people in public settings.”

The order will go into effect on Feb. 2, 2021.

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