The mask mandate for airline travelers in Louisiana and the rest of the country will not be lifted later this month. The mandate was set to expire on March 18, but the Transportation Security Administration has announced plans to extend the mandate until at least April 18.

Erin McCarty
Erin McCarty

The White House says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be working with other federal agencies to develop a comprehensive plan for lifting the mask mandate between now and the April deadline.

In a statement released this week, TSA Administrator David Pekoske says "we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel as demonstrated by the rapid recovery of the travel industry." Many in the travel industry have been calling for changes to the policy for masks on airlines after the CDC issued a statement in February which said most Americans are safe without a mask in all indoor settings. But easing the mask mandate for air travelers has not yet happened.

This mask mandate for airline travel also includes other public transit including buses and trains. Masks are also required in train stations and in all airports across the nation. This mandate has been extended four times since it was put in place back in January of 2021. But masks were required on many airlines prior to the federal policy. JetBlue put a mask mandate in place in May of 2020 and other airlines followed suit. This latest extension will mean masks have been required for air travelers for nearly two years.

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