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SEPTA, Amtrak No Longer Requiring Masks After Federal Judge Struck Down US Mandate For Public Transportation

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Face masks will no longer be required on SEPTA buses, trains and trolleys and in stations and concourses, the transportation authority said Monday night. This comes after a federal judge in Florida struck down the national mask mandate covering airlines and public transportation, ruling the mandate exceeded the authority of U.S. health officials.

SEPTA said masks are still recommended.

"Effective immediately, in accordance with CDC and TSA recommendations, the wearing of masks aboard SEPTA vehicles and in SEPTA stations & concourses is recommended but no longer required of customers or employees," SEPTA wrote in a tweet.

SEPTA said employees who work inside its offices, districts and shops in Philadelphia must continue to wear a mask to comply with the city's mandate.

The White House said Monday it will not enforce the public transportation mask mandate while it reviews the federal court ruling. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a former President Donald Trump appointee, also said in the ruling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention improperly failed to justify its decision.

American Airlines said Monday it will no longer require masks for customers or employees at airports and on domestic flights.

American is the largest carrier at Philadelphia International Airport.

However, masks will still be required in PHL terminals, in accordance with Philadelphia's indoor mask mandate.

Amtrak also said it will end its mask mandate for all travelers and employees.

An Amtrak spokesperson said in a statement, "While Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while on board trains or in stations, masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure against COVID-19. Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so."

Meanwhile, an indoor mask mandate went back into effect in Philadelphia on Monday. The city reinstated the mandate amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. Over the weekend, local businesses and residents filed a lawsuit against the city attempting to overturn it.

On Monday, an attorney who filed the lawsuit told Eyewitness News they planned to file an emergency junction with the Commonwealth Court to immediately suspend Philadelphia's indoor mask policy.

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