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U.S. Justice Department Appeals Ruling Ending Mask Mandates On Planes, Trains

Skift Take

Here we go. The mask wars are back on, and it’s travelers who will face mass confusion. It may just be the airlines’ zeal to repeal their own mask mandates was a little too much celebration too soon.

Tom Lowry

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday appealed a judge’s ruling ending a mask mandate on public transportation and airplanes, a spokesman said, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the measure was still needed.

A U.S. district judge ruled on Monday that the mandates, which apply to planes, trains and other public transportation, were unlawful. The Justice Department said it would appeal the ruling if the CDC determined the 14-month-old mandate was still needed.

The CDC said on Wednesday it had asked the Justice Department to proceed with the appeal and that “an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health.”

Given the CDC’s assessment, the Justice Department filed a notice of appeal in the case, titled “Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al.”, department spokesperson Anthony Coley wrote on Twitter.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Stephen Coates)

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