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Do I Need To Wear A Mask? TSA, BWI, MTA & Rideshare Services Lift Mandates

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Masks are now optional across virtually all forms of public travel in the wake of a federal judge's ruling striking down a federal mask mandate for air travel and mass transit.

Even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that Americans wear masks while using public transit, the Transportation Security Administration and other public agencies moved quickly to lift mask mandates.

To help, we've compiled a guide of the changes for Maryland travelers:

Air Travel

Citing the TSA's decision to no longer enforce face covering requirements for public transportation, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is no longer requiring that travelers, workers and visitors wear masks. In a tweet, the airport said people are "welcome to continue to wear a mask if they choose to do so."

Similarly, major airlines have by and large dropped their face covering requirements. Masks are now optional on flights through Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United.

It's worth mentioning that policies may differ for regional airlines and other airports.

Public Transit

Masks are now optional on all Maryland Transit Administration buses, trains (MARC included) and other vehicles, the agency said in a notice Tuesday. Like BWI, the agency pointed to the TSA's decision to no longer enforce face coverings on mass transit systems.

It was not immediately clear if the Charm City Circulator would continue to require masks. (WJZ reached out to the Baltimore City Department of Transportation and this story will be updated with the agency's response.)

Amtrak passengers do not need to wear masks while using its trains or stations. The company said masks are "welcome and remain an important preventative measure against COVID-19," saying anyone who wears one is encouraged to do so.

Rideshare Apps

Riders no longer need to don a mask when using an Uber. The rideshare company posted a tweet Tuesday morning, saying masks are optional even though their use is "still recommended." The company said riders can now sit in the front seat.

Like Uber, Lyft updated its COVID-19 policy Tuesday to reflect that mask-wearing is now optional and that riders may use the front seat if they choose. Besides that, the ridesharing company said drivers are no longer required to roll windows down.

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