The Biden administration said Tuesday it plans to extend mask mandates for travelers on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through January 18 amid concern over the highly-transmissible delta variant.
“The purpose of TSA’s mask directive is to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesperson reportedly told Reuters.
The current TSA transportation mask order had been set to expire on September 13.
A CDC order put in place just after President Biden took office, requires the use of face masks to be worn by all travelers on airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-shares and at transportation hubs such as airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, and seaports.
The outlet reported that major U.S. airlines were notified of the planned extension on a call with TSA and CDC officials on Tuesday.