Business Travelers: Keep a Mask Handy

A picture of two medical masks

RV industry travelers will need to keep a mask handy for at least two more weeks if they are planning to use airlines or public transportation.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced Wednesday they would extend the federal mask mandate on public transportation and transportation hubs for 15 days, through May 3.

The mandate was set to expire Monday.

“CDC continues to monitor the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, especially the BA.2 subvariant that now makes up more than 85% of U.S. cases,” TSA said. “Since early April 2022, there have been increases in the seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases in the United States. During the 15-day extension period, CDC will assess the potential impact the recent rise of COVID-19 cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations, deaths, and healthcare system capacity. TSA will continue to coordinate closely with CDC and communicate any changes to this requirement with the public.”

Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday the two-week extension gives CDC officials time to assess the new variant’s impact on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths.

“Their assessment, from the data-gathering standpoint, is that two weeks would give them some additional time to do that,” Psaki said. “At the end of that two weeks, they can determine what’s next after that.”

Psaki was asked whether Americans should expect more short-term extensions. She declined to predict more extensions.

“I think it depends on how they evaluate and assess the data over the course of the next two weeks,” she said.

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