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Should you still wear a mask on planes, trains? What CDC says now.

The government had repeatedly extended the mask mandate, and the latest one had been set to expire May 3. But a judge struck down the rule on April 18.

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials on Tuesday restated their recommendation that Americans wear masks on planes, trains and buses, despite a court ruling last month that struck down a national mask mandate on public transportation.

Americans age 2 and older should wear a well-fitting masks while on public transportation, including in airports and train stations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended, citing the current spread of coronavirus and projections of future COVID-19 trends.

For months, the Transportation Security Administration had been enforcing a requirement that passengers and workers wear masks.

The government had repeatedly extended the mandate, and the latest one had been set to expire May 3. But a federal judge in Florida struck down the rule on April 18. The same day, the TSA said it would no longer enforce the mandate.

The CDC asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision, which the department did. On Tuesday, CDC officials declined to comment on the status of the appeal. DOJ officials did not immediately respond to a request for information.

Full statement from CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky: 

CDC continues to recommend that all people—passengers and workers, alike—properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs to provide protection for themselves and other travelers in these high volume, mixed population settings. We now have a range of tools we need to protect ourselves from the impact of COVID-19, including access to high-quality masks and respirators for all who need them.

Additionally, it is important for all of us to protect not only ourselves, but also to be considerate of others at increased risk for severe COVID-19 and those who are not yet able to be vaccinated. Wearing a mask in indoor public transportation settings will provide protection for the individual and the community.

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The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.