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TSA Will No Longer Enforce Mask Mandate After Court Ruling

BOSTON (CBS) – There is some confusion after a federal judge struck down the mask mandate on planes, trains and buses. A Florida federal judge says the CDC improperly failed to justify its decision to extend the public transportation mask mandate and did not follow proper rulemaking before issuing the extension.

Most major domestic airlines including American, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest announced masks are no longer required for travel and will be optional. Hawaiian Airlines said it would be keeping the mask mandate in effect.

The White House says the Justice Department is now reviewing possible legal action following the judge's decision.

The mandate, set to expire Monday, was extended by the CDC until May 3. The CDC pointed to more time needed to study the latest omicron subvariant, now responsible for the majority of COVID cases in the U.S.

Medical experts say it's tough to predict right now if cases are going to continue rising.

"Traveling is always lot of movement, disease can travel with it," said Dr. Gabriela Andujar Vazquez, epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center. "They wanted to make sure that this decision was made informed by where we are currently standing, and I think that extending it two more weeks was what they needed."

The TSA announced it will no longer enforce the mask mandate on public transportation as the decision continues to be reviewed.

While some travelers WBZ spoke with at Logan Airport are quick to ditch the mask, others want to wait it out.

"I'm over all of it, I'm ready to go back to normal," one woman said.

"Everybody's used to having them on and it's easier just to leave them on a little bit longer until they make a decision," a man said.

The CDC is still recommending people continue wearing masks in indoor public transportation settings.

The MBTA said it is continuing to follow CDC guidelines and will review the court order.

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