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Jet-setting for spring break? Bring your mask. TSA extends mask mandate until April 18

The mandate had been set to expire on March 18. 
/ Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration is extending the mask mandate on public transportation until April 18, according to a White House official and a TSA official.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when the mask rules can be lifted during this time, said the White House official.

The requirement was set to expire on March 18 after having been extended twice before. 

On Wednesday, the agency put out a release ahead of a busy spring break travel period offering ten tips for getting through TSA efficiently, with the first tip being “continue to wear a face mask.”

TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement the agency’s collaboration with industry and federal partners has been instrumental through the pandemic, “and now we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel as demonstrated by the rapid recovery of the travel industry.”

The mask requirement has stayed in place even after the CDC announced a shift in COVID-19 guidance in February, saying most Americans are safe without a mask in indoor settings.

The change to the mask guidance leans less heavily on the number of COVID-19 cases as a key measure, instead giving more weight to hospitalizations and local hospital capacity. 

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