US Airlines and Amtrak No Longer Require Passengers to Wear Masks

Riding US Airlines and Amtrak Any Time Soon? The Mask Mandate Has Been Lifted

Wearing a mask on US transports is now up to you.

The United States is among the quickest countries to go back to normalcy in a soon-to-be (and hopefully) post-pandemic world. Apart from opening its borders earlier on to revive tourism, it has eased local quarantine mandates and health protocols to get the economy back on its feet. Recently, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it would no longer enforce the mask mandate. As if on cue, all major US airlines have dropped the mask requirement, while the national railroad corporation Amtrak followed suit. 

Also read: USA Entry Requirements: What to Know When Travelling During COVID-19

US airlines and Amtrak allow passengers to go mask-free

Image credit: Dimitri Anikin

US carriers that have scrapped the face mask mandate include United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue. 

However, the TSA maintains that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.” United Airlines echoed similar sentiments in a statement given to Travel + Leisure saying, “While this means that our employees are no longer required to wear a mask – and no longer have to enforce a mask requirement for most of the flying public – they will be able to wear masks if they choose to do so, as the CDC continues to strongly recommend wearing a mask on public transit.”

Likewise, Amtrak released a statement where they said wearing masks would be optional for both employees and passengers. “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.” Since the pandemic began, Amtrak innovated its processes to make passenger experience more COVID-proof, such as contactless boarding, enhanced disinfection partnered with Lysol, and onboard filtration systems. All Amtrak employees are also required to be either vaccinated or take a COVID test weekly.

Image credit: Micheal Dizcenza

Tori Barnes, EVP of public affairs and policy of the US Travel Association, shared that the lifting of the mask mandate on local and international transportation services is “a further step toward endemic management of COVID.” Take note, however, that not everyone was pleased with the decision. This includes White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki who called the ruling a “disappointing decision” during a briefing on Monday. Secretary Psaki added, “Department of Homeland Security… and the CDC are reviewing the decision. And, of course, the Department of Justice would make any determinations about litigation.”

Also read: 4 Memorable & Diverse Destinations to Complete Your USA Travels!

If you’re travelling to the United States, and whether you choose to forgo wearing face masks or not, be reminded that you’re still required to get a negative COVID test within one day before flying to the US. 

Featured image credit: ben o’bro | Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.