The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States issued a general order requiring the use of masks to protect against the spread of Covid-19 on virtually all forms of public transport across the country.
The order, released on Friday night (29), includes travel on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, rides, subways, ferries and boats.
It is an extension of one of the first executive orders signed by President Joe Biden, which required the use of masks for interstate travel as part of a broader strategy to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The new order, which also covers travel within each state, takes effect at 23:59 local time on Monday (1).
“Wearing masks in our transportation systems will protect Americans and give them confidence that we can travel safely again, even during this pandemic,” the order said.
“Therefore, the requirement for masks will help us to control this pandemic and to reopen the United States economy,” the agency said.
Failure to comply will constitute “a violation of federal law” under the order. Exceptions to the use of masks are permitted for people who eat, drink or take medication, as well as for people who communicate with hearing impaired people.
The United States has the worst statistics on Covid-19 in the world – more than 430,000 deaths and almost 26 million infected. The number of cases and hospitalizations has decreased in the past two weeks, and some experts attribute this, in part, to a greater adherence to the measures of wearing masks and social distance.
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