TSA Will Extend The Mandate Of Masks In US Transportation.

Back to schools in the US with masks 3:03

(WAB NEWS) – The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will extend its mask-wearing mandate in federal transportation until January 18, the agency confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

The mandate expired on September 13. The TSA said the purpose of the directive is “to minimize the spread of covid-19 in public transportation.” The spread comes as COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in the United States in recent weeks due to the spread of the delta variant.


More than 2,867 passenger incidents violating the federal mask-wearing mandate have been reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so far this year, the agency said Tuesday.

The Reuters news agency reported for the first time on the extension of the mandate.

People wearing protective masks walk through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“Emerging evidence on the delta variant shows that it is more formidable than the parent virus. Delta is more than twice as easily transmitted from person to person compared to earlier strains,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC) in a statement Tuesday.

“In contrast to the alpha strain, the new data shows that fully vaccinated people who are infected with the delta variant could be infectious and could transmit the virus to other people.”

The CDC urged that people wear tight-fitting masks that cover the nose and mouth in indoor public areas and that unvaccinated people get vaccinated.

CWA-Flight Attendant Association President Sara Nelson, who represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants across 17 airlines, said she supports the TSA’s extension of the mask mandate.

Flight attendants have been on the front line to enforce the requirement.

The decision, he said, “will go a long way to keeping passengers and aviation workers safe.”

“We all look forward to the day when the masks are no longer necessary, but we are not there yet.”

CNN’s Virginia Langmaid and Forrest Brown contributed to this report.