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Montevideo, September 29th 2023 - 07:26 UTC



US gov't appeals judge's ruling ending mask mandates

Thursday, April 21st 2022 - 09:40 UTC
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Judge Mizelle's decision remains unchanged while the case is reviewed Judge Mizelle's decision remains unchanged while the case is reviewed

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Wednesday confirmed it finally filed an appeal against a Florida Federal Judge's ruling which has for the time being brought the mandatory wearing of facemasks on public transport to a halt.

Travelers will not be required to wear masks on public transportation while the challenge is being considered. Therefore, the appeal is expected to have no immediate effect. The White House also said that the Transportation Security Administration will not enforce the order on public transport while the ruling is reviewed.

The CDC’s mask mandate was enacted in February 2021 and extended to May 3.

A DOJ spokesman had said Tuesday that legal action would be taken only if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found it necessary, which it did Wednesday.

“CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings,” the agency said in a statement.

It also vowed to continue to monitor public health conditions to “determine whether such an order remains necessary.”

“CDC's number one priority is protecting the public health of our nation,” the agency added. “As we have said before, wearing masks is most beneficial when in crowded or poorly ventilated locations, such as the transportation corridor.”

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2020, ruled that the mask mandate enacted more than a year ago was unconstitutional.

The DOJ said in a statement Wednesday it had filed a notice of appeal in the case involving Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., versus Biden, et al.

Several airlines such as United and Delta and the railroad operator Amtrak were quick to announce Monday evening that wearing masks was now optional for passengers and employees alike.

Unruly airline passengers who were added to no-flight lists for their rejection of wearing masks will be allowed onboard once again on a case-by-case basis, it was reported.

“Any further disregard for the policies that keep us all safe will result in placement on Delta’s permanent no-fly list,” Delta said in a statement late Wednesday. “Customers who demonstrated egregious behavior and are already on the permanent no-fly list remain barred from flying with Delta.”

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