NEWS: Mask Mandate for Planes Will Reportedly Be EXTENDED by the CDC

To ensure we are equipping our readers with all the information they need, we will continue to report on all travel, safety, and COVID-related news that could impact a Disney Parks visit.

The mask mandate within the U.S. for planes and other forms of public transportation was set to end soon, but now we have a big update.

Face masks are currently required on airplanes

COVID-19 rules and regulations have been changing all over the United States. At Disney World, we’ve seen mask rules adjusted for certain forms of transportation. We’ve also shared the news about increasing levels of COVID-19’s BA.2 Omicron subvariant in wastewater near Disney World. Now, when it comes to wearing masks on planes and trains, some extensions are set to be put in place. Here’s what we know.

According to the Associated Press, one of their sources who is familiar with this matter has indicated that the Biden administration will be extending the nationwide mask mandate for public transit for another 2 weeks, as it “monitors an uptick in COVID-19 cases.”

The mask mandate applies to airplanes, trains, and buses, as well as airports and train stations (basically public transportation and transportation hubs).

The order was previously set to expire on April 18th. It had been repeatedly extended previously.

Masks Will Reportedly Continue to Be Required on Planes

AP says that the CDC was set to extend the order by 2 weeks to “monitor for any observable increase in severe virus outcomes as cases rise in parts of the country.” AP’s source has indicated that the extension is set to take place in an “abundance of caution.”

Back in March of 2022, the CDC said that it would “work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor. This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science.”

It appears that the plan for now is to extend the mask mandate for those 2 weeks.

How Could This Impact Your Travel Plans?

AP notes that there has been a “slight increase” in COVID-19 cases during recent weeks, largely driven by the BA.2 Omicron subvariant, which is more contagious than Omicron’s previous form. Daily confirmed cases in the U.S. rose from about 25,000 per day to more than 30,000, but that could be an “undercount” since many individuals are using at-home tests that are not reported to public health agencies.

AP shares that “severe illness and deaths tend to lag infections by several weeks.” So, the CDC is waiting to see whether the increase in cases will in any way correlate to an increase in adverse outcomes, “before announcing a less restrictive mask policy for travel.”

Orlando Airport

According to Google, utilizing data from The New York Times, the 7-day average for COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was 33,101 on April 11th. Compared to the 7-day average from April 6th (which was 29,684) that is a bit of an increase.


We’ll be on the lookout for any official update from the CDC and TSA, and any further rules and regulations that may be put in place. Be sure to check back for more updates.

Click here to see more about the BA.2 subvariant levels that are increasing in wastewater near Disney World

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