NEWS: CDC Extends Mask Mandate on Public Transportation

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change and develop, AllEars will be bringing you the latest relevant news that could affect a theme park visit.

Face mask mandates have been relaxed in many locations, including Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, and Universal Hollywood. Some federal mandates still remain in place, however, particularly on public transportation.

Figment with a mask on!

Travel has changed a lot since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and we can still see indications of those changes in continued face mask mandates on public buses, trains, and airplanes. The nationwide mask mandate on public transportation was extended last month, and it’s looking like it will be extended again soon.

The end date for the previous extension of the federal mask mandate on public transportation is quickly approaching. The previous extension was going to last through April 18th, 2022. However, it looks like this mandate could be extended once again, according to AP News.

Face masks

AP News reported that “the Biden administration will extend for two weeks the nationwide mask requirement for public transit as it monitors an uptick in COVID-19 cases.” That means that the end date for this extension will be May 2nd, 2022. Last time, the mandate was extended for a full month.

UPDATE: The TSA has officially announced that the face mask requirement for public transportation and transportation hubs has been extended for 15 days, through May 3rd, 2022.


In a press release shared on April 13th, 2022, the TSA said that the CDC is continuing to monitor the situation with COVID-19, particularly when it comes to Omicron and the BA.2 Omicron subvariant. The TSA noted that BA.2 now makes up more than 85% of the COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

According to the TSA, “Since early April 2022, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of COVID-19 cases in the United States.” During this 15-day extension, the CDC is going to “assess the potential impact the recent rise of COVID-19 cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations, deaths, and healthcare system capacity. TSA will continue to coordinate closely with CDC and communicate any changes to this requirement with the public.”

Masks are required on airplanes

This is the 4th extension of the federal mask mandate on public transportation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The mandate has now been in effect for about 2 years. The current decision is a result of “an abundance of caution,” according to the person who reported the extension.

Orlando International Airport

Although COVID-19 cases have “fallen sharply” in recent months, a newer subvariant of the omicron strain is proving to be more contagious than previous variants. There has been a slight increase in COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks, from about 25,000 reported per day to about 30,000.

Universal face mask

Since it can take several weeks to recognize the real impact of new variants, the CDC is waiting to analyze this newer variant and see if the rise in cases also brings a rise in “adverse outcomes.” Once this can be determined, the CDC will re-evaluate the mask policy.

Bring a mask!

As a reminder, the CDC eased face mask recommendations in February of this year for most areas in the US as long as the hospitalizations in each area remain low. In line with the current guidance, most people can go without a mask in public indoor settings.

Face masks

Be sure to pack your face masks for your upcoming Disney World trip! They are required in airports and on airplanes. And keep in mind that face masks are still required on some Disney World transportation as well, such as on buses and the Monorail.

On the Monorail

Keep following AllEars for more of the latest news that could impact your upcoming Disney vacation!

Click here to learn more about Disney World’s face mask requirements.

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What’s your favorite face mask to use in Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

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