MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — On Monday, a federal judge voided the federal mask mandate for public transportation and the Transportation Security Administration said it would no longer enforce the rule at airports.
After the ruling, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would continue to recommend wearing masks for public transportation, but it would no longer be required.
Here’s where each major airline stands.
“In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration no longer enforcing the federal face mask mandate, face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at U.S. airports on domestic flights,” the airline said in a statement.
American Airlines said masks may still be required at some destinations based on local ordinances or in some international locations.
Delta Air Lines
“Effective immediately, masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members and customers inside U.S. airports and onboard aircraft,” Delta said in a statement.
In a memo to employees, Delta said customers and employees can still choose to wear a mask if they wish, and urged employees to be patient as enforcement may be inconsistent while guidance is shared.
“You may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated — remember to show understanding and patience with others who may not be aware enforcement is no longer required,” the memo reads.
The airline also added it may take a short amount of time to update passengers with signage and announcements.
“We are relieved to see the U.S. mask mandate lift to facilitate global travel as COVID-19 has transitioned into an ordinary seasonal virus,” the memo reads. “Thank you for your support in complying with the federal mask mandate and keeping each other, and our customers, safe during the pandemic.”
Spirit Airlines has made masks optional, according to a statement from the airline. Crew and passengers may still choose to wear face coverings if desired.
The airline said guests traveling internationally should check requirements for their destination before traveling.
“Effective immediately, Southwest Employees and Customers will be able to choose whether they would like to wear a mask, and we encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing,” the airline said in a news release.
The airline added that its cabin air ventilation systems “which incorporates HEPA air filtration that removes at least 99.97% of airborne particles.”
“We appreciate the cooperation and compliance efforts of our Customers and Employees as policies have evolved,” the airline said.
“Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports,” an airline representative said in a statement.
“While this means that our employees are no longer required to wear a mask — and no longer have to enforce a mask requirement for most of the flying public — they will be able to wear masks if they choose to do so, as the CDC continues to strongly recommend wearing a mask on public transit.”
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation in the event of changes.”
This story will be updated with more responses from airlines.