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Sky Harbor travelers no longer required to wear masks at airport, on flights

Employees and visitors will no longer be required to wear face coverings inside planes or at the airport.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 7:02 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 18, 2022 at 8:40 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Travelers will now have the option of wearing masks at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport after TSA announced on Monday they will no longer enforce a federal mask mandate because a federal judge struck it down. As a result, employees and visitors will no longer be required to wear face coverings inside planes or at the airport. However, the CDC is still strongly recommending masks indoors.

Several airlines announced the policy change, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Airline companies are asking travelers to be considerate to those around them and encourage people to mask up if they want.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement, “Effective immediately, Southwest employees and customers will be able to choose whether they would like to wear a mask, and we encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their wellbeing.” Delta and Alaska airlines released similar statements, telling travelers they can choose to wear a mask on domestic and international flights.

United and American airlines say masks are no longer required on domestic flights, but some international flights may still require them based on the country flyers are traveling to. In a statement, American Airlines said, “Please note face masks may still be required based on local ordinances, or when traveling to/from certain international locations based on country requirements.”

Meanwhile, on the ground, Valley Metro initially said on Monday they are still requiring masks. However, that changed on Tuesday morning when officials said tweeted bus and light rail riders wouldn’t be required to wear them.“ Amtrak passengers and employees will no longer be required to wear masks.

The masking requirement was previously extended until May 3, applying to all public transportation like buses, planes and trains. However, a federal judge struck down the mandate following the extension. The Biden Administration is reviewing the ruling.