A new poll finds that a majority of Americans continue to support a mask requirement for people traveling on airplanes and other shared transportation.
The poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 56% of Americans favor requiring people on planes, trains, and public transportation to wear masks. That compares with 24% opposed and 20% who say they’re neither in favor nor opposed.
Interviews for the poll were conducted before a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the national mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit. Airlines and airports immediately scrapped their requirements that passengers wear face coverings to protect against the coronavirus.
President Joe Biden’s administration said that it would only appeal the decision if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention felt the requirement was necessary.
While most said they were supportive of mandatory masking in public transit, there appears to be declining support for mandatory masking in general.
A poll released last week by Axios indicated support for required masking in public places has declined below 50% for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Support remains high — at 67% — for required masking in health care settings. Also a majority of Americans — 51% — said they support universal masking in schools.
While the masking requirement is null due to the judge’s decision, the CDC continues to recommend the use of masks while using public transit.
“Traveling on public transportation increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing people in close contact with others, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces,” the CDC said.
While most major airlines have lifted mask requirements, some mass transit operators continue to require masks.