FLORIDA -- Despite the CDC's recent recommendation to extend the mask mandate for airplanes, airports, public transportation, etc., on Monday, April 18, Florida Federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle declared the enforcement unconstitutional. She said the mandate from the CDC not only exceeded the CDC's authority but was also unnecessary.
According to an official in the Biden administration, the CDC's mask mandate is not in effect while the ruling is being reviewed. The TSA will not be monitoring or enforcing the wearing of masks, but passengers are free to wear a mask if they choose to do so.
The CDC recommended the extension due to concern over the new BA.2 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus. The most recent extension was the fifth.
Beginning on Monday night, Delta Airline lifted the mask requirement.
The Orlando International Airport issued the following statement on Tuesday:
"Following a Federal Court decision and updated directives from the Transportation Security Administration, the wearing of facial coverings will no longer be mandated at Orlando International Airport.
"The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority will continue to remain vigilant in its efforts to promote a safe, secure and sanitized environment for its guests through the enhanced cleaning methods we’ve enacted over the course of the pandemic.
"However, the signage and messaging throughout the airport campus will be removed to support the current enforcement climate.
"The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings as a preventative measure against COVID-19. Each individual can proceed to wear a face mask if they feel it is important for their health and the health of their family.
"We can expect that some of our industry partners may require a mask be worn in our airports – and we need to respect that decision as well."
United Airlines posted on its Facebook page, "Masks are no longer required for United customers or employees on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country's requirements) or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead… the choice is yours!"
More airlines and airports are expected to follow suit.