Following the recent ruling in the U.S. regarding masks, some airlines will no longer require you to wear a mask for your trip to Cancun, at least for now. The decision to end the requirement of wearing masks in U.S. airports and on U.S. flights was made by a Florida judge, but an appeal is already underway. The impending appeal comes in light of CDC recommendations that masks still be required in the enclosed spaces which are a common characteristic of public transportation.
According to a Justice Department spokesperson, “The Department continues to believe that the order requiring the use of masks in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority that Congress has given to the CDC to protect public health.”
The Justice Department, which will be seeking the appeal, pointed out on Twitter that until the appeal is won, though, the Florida judge’s order will continue to remain in effect. For that reason, a number of airlines that have already dropped the requirement will continue to do so until that appeal is granted.
The masking requirement was implemented at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to help protect against the spread of the virus and has been in place for close to two years now. There has been a fair amount of controversy over the requirement, which has led to some difficult situations for flights attendants and airport workers during that time.
The removal of the mandate will provide some relief for airline and airport workers dealing with situations that involve mask rules. This relief will possibly come at the cost of their health though, according to officials who still think they should be required in these close spaces.
The Florida judge that made the ruling to eliminate the requirement for masks in public transportation settings has stated that the reason for the decision has to do with the constitution. Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle claims that the rule is unconstitutional because the CDC is exceeding its authority and has not provided reasons to justify continuing to enforce the requirement.
Despite the fact that an appeal to the judge’s order is imminent, for the time being, if you’re planning a trip to Cancun, you have some options for flying without a mask. The airlines that have removed the requirement in some form include:
- United Airlines – Masks are optional for customers and employees on domestic flights but required on international flights to destinations with existing mask mandates.
- Delta Airlines – Masks are optional for both customers and employees.
- American Airlines – Masks are optional for both customers and employees.
- Alaska Airlines – Masks are optional for both customers and employees.
- Southwest Airlines – Masks are optional for both customers and employees.
- JetBlue Airways – Masks are optional for both customers and employees.
- Spirit Airlines – Masks are optional for both customers and employees on domestic flights.
- Frontier Airlines – Masks are optional for both customers and employees but encouraged and must be worn in cities and facilities that still require them, whether a mandate is in effect or not.
All of these airlines have made some type of statement relaying the message that anyone who still wants to wear a face-covering is welcome to do so. There is no telling how long it will take for the appeal to be considered or whether the Justice Department will win the appeal. Until that time there is no legal basis for requiring masks but anyone who wishes to can still wear a face covering if they want to. If you have a trip to Cancun coming up, this is something to consider.
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