Masks are no longer required aboard busses and trolleys across San Diego county as the Metropolitan Transit System joins other local transit agencies after a federal judge’s ruling.
The decision comes after U.S District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa voided the US mask mandate on Monday for planes and public transportation, saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its authority.
The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it requested the Department of Justice to appeal Mizelle’s ruling. The DOJ announced in a statement that it filed an appeal of the case involving the Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., versus Biden, et al.
The appeal process is slated to unfold over a number of months.
With the current federal guidance, MTS encourages riders to continue wearing face coverings and practice social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Anyone who may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should take preventive measures and keep public safety in mind. People should not ride public transportation while showing symptoms of illness.
The North County Transit District scaled its mask requirements on Tuesday. Coaster and Sprinter trains, Breeze buses, Flex on-demand service and Lift paratransit services were impacted by this change.
“Based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the North Country Transit District will no longer require face coverings to be worn on board vehicles or in stations, effective immediately,'' said Colleen Windsor, spokeswoman for the transit agency.
Most major airlines, including Southwest, Delta, American, and United made mask-wearing optional in response shortly after the ruling was made. The Transportation Security Administration also announced that it would no longer enforce the mask rule at airports.
According to Sabrina LoPiccolo, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Airport Authority, masks remains optional while traveling through San Diego International Airport for both passengers and employees.
Uber also dropped its mask mandate for drivers and passengers but recommends the practice among riders. Lyft had not yet issued any changes in its masking policy.