Federal judge halts Biden administration’s travel mask mandate

DDOT has decided to drop its mandate, but mask-wearing on the bus is still recommended

A Trump-appointed judge has officially overturned the Biden administration's mask mandate for planes and other transportation in Florida Monday (April 18) afternoon. It was an absolute relief for air travelers like Cole Gibbs and Rich Parry to be able to take off their masks mid-flight.

DETROIT – A Trump-appointed judge has officially overturned the Biden administration’s mask mandate for planes and other transportation in Florida Monday (April 18) afternoon.

It was an absolute relief for air travelers like Cole Gibbs and Rich Parry to be able to take off their masks mid-flight.

“It’s kind of just a surreal almost because it’s been so many years now that we’ve been doing this,” said Gibbs. A couple of people cheered.”

“Being able to breathe the fresh air on a plane is so freeing,” said Parry. Not having to pull it down to take a drink or anything is really nice.”

“I’m going to feel good not to have nothing covering my face, and I can see people’s faces again,” said bus traveler Kayt McGhee.

Local 4 News has been told that TSA officials will no longer enforce the mandate, but not everyone is excited about the new changes.

“I’m 61 years old, and I believe in the mask,” said bus traveler Raymond Mark.

Greyhound traveler Aaron Wright says we’ve been able to go with the mask this long, so it shouldn’t be a problem going a little more time with it on.

“When I go in, I’m going to put my mask on, and it’s just sort of a personal thing,” said Wright.

The federal ruling comes less than a week after the mask mandate was extended an additional 15 days to May 3 because of rising COVID numbers.

Airlines will now have the choice to follow suit or not. So far, all the major companies, along with Amtrak, have dropped their mandates for the time being.

“I hope that they come to some kind of terms where everyone can be happy with it,” said air traveler Chris Nonamaker.

It will be interesting to see if local bus lines will be dropping their mandate in the future. DDOT has decided to drop its mandate, but mask-wearing on the bus is still recommended.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.