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CDC extends COVID-19 mask mandate to May 3 for airlines, transit

CDC extends COVID-19 mask mandate to May 3 for airlines, transit
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby holds a face mask on September 17, 2020. The CDC said Wednesday it is extending mask mandates for airlines and transit through May 3. Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo

April 13 (UPI) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday the mask mandate for air travel has been extended for 15 days -- through May 3.

"Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the U.S.," a CDC official told CNN. "In order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and healthcare system capacity, CDC is recommending that TSA extend the security directive to enforce mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for 15 days, through May 3, 2022."

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The mask mandate for public transit had been set to expire April 18.

Philadelphia public health officials said Monday that masks will be required again in indoor public spaces in the city beginning April 18.

The Philadelphia Public Health order includes schools, childcare settings, businesses, restaurants and government buildings.

Last month, CEO's of all major U.S. airlines wrote a letter to the Biden administration asking that the mask mandates stop.

"It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do," the business executives wrote.

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