Multiple airlines on Monday said they would no longer enforce COVID mask mandates for employees and travelers after a federal judge’s move to void the Biden administration’s mask mandate for travelers.
“Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports,” United Airlines told FOX Business in a statement.
“While this means that our employees are no longer required to wear a mask – and no longer have to enforce a mask requirement for most of the flying public – they will be able to wear masks if they choose to do so, as the CDC continues to strongly recommend wearing a mask on public transit. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in the event of changes.”
Earlier Monday, the airline company said it would be enforcing masks despite the judge’s ruling.
“The federal requirement that masks be worn on board aircraft and in airports remains in effect for both customers and employees, despite the decision by a federal judge on Monday that struck down the federal mask mandate,” United said in a statement shared by airline business reporter David Slotnick on Twitter.
Delta Airlines initially said it would “continue to comply with the TSA Security Directive on masks until informed otherwise by the TSA,” before making the policy optional for its employees and customers.
Alaska Airlines reportedly said it would make mask-wearing optional on its flights.
The ruling refers to a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in a case brought in Florida federal court by Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc. and frequent air travelers Ana Daza and Sarah Pope against the administration.
Delta Airlines says masks are no longer required on their flights pic.twitter.com/2FNcL1UCMd
— LeGate (founder @ GoodPillow™) (@williamlegate) April 18, 2022