TSA to extend mask mandate for planes and public transportation until April 18, reports say

COVID-19 masks airport
Posted at 8:33 AM, Mar 10, 2022

The Transportation Security Administration will extend a rule that requires travelers to wear masks on planes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until April 18, NBC News and Bloomberg report.

The mask mandate was slated to expire on March 18.

The reports come as many states roll back COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates as case rates and hospitalizations plummet.

Last month, a union representing thousands of flight attendants said they expected the TSA to extend the mask mandate. Their statement noted that masks would help protect children younger than five — who currently are not eligible for vaccination — and immunocompromised flight attendants.

President Joe Biden imposed the federal mask mandate on airplanes upon taking office in 2021. Since then, the TSA has reported a disturbing spike in unruly passenger incidents, many of them linked to travelers' refusal to wear masks.

This story is breaking and will be updated.