Masks now optional at Orlando International Airport

Florida judge rules against US mask mandate for planes, other travel

ORLANDO, Fla. – After a federal judge in Florida on Monday voided a national mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit, masks are now optional at Orlando International Airport.

The judge’s decision freed airlines, airports and mass transit systems to make their own decisions about mask requirements.

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Masks are no longer required at Orlando International Airport and its facilities.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, also said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.

The White House said the court ruling means that for now the mask order “is not in effect at this time.”

“This is obviously a disappointing decision,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “The CDC is recommending wearing a mask on public transit.”

The Transportation Security Administration released a statement after the ruling, saying it will “no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs.”

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) posted a statement on Twitter, urging calm and patience as they wait for further instructions. The group said it can take up to 48 hours to implement new procedures.

At last check, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, United and Southwest airlines announced masks aren’t required for employees or passengers on board their aircraft.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.