coronavirus illinois

Travelers, Chicago Agencies Divided After Federal Mask Mandate Overturned

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Opinions are split after a federal judge in Florida threw out a mask mandate on public transit and in airports and airplanes.

The ruling, which contended that the rule put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not go through proper public commenting procedures and was too far-reaching, caused some confusion in airports and in other locations on Monday when it came down.

Even after the Department of Transportation and the Transportation Security Administration said that they would no longer enforce the mandate, both the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra said that their mask requirements would remain in place.

Masks will no longer be required on many airlines, something that caused a split reaction among travelers.

“I think Americans and Chicagoans are ready to get back to mask-free,” one O’Hare traveler said.

“A majority of us have had our vaccinations and boosters, so it should be okay, because we need to feel like we’re normal again,” another added.

The Biden administration said it was disappointed in the ruling, and added that the Justice Department may appeal the ruling.

Not all Chicago-area transit agencies are keeping mask mandates in place. The South Shore Line, operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and serving locations in northwest Indiana and Chicago, says that it will eliminate its mask mandate after the court ruling.

Even still, Pace, CTA and Metra all said that they will keep mandates in place for now.

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