Fully vaccinated Americans using public transport such as airplanes, trains, buses, airports, and train stations must keep wearing their face masks until January 18, 2022, the official authorities have announced.
The announcement follows the ongoing increase of Coronavirus infections in the United States with the spread of the Delta variant, VisaGuide.World reports.
Previously, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had announced that vaccinated travelers are exempted from the mask requirement.
However, this change in rules intends to halt the further spread of the virus, with around 141,893 people getting infected in the US only on August 17.
The seven-day average for this week for positive cases with Coronavirus stands at 130,121 cases, and the total rate per 100,000 inhabitants is 11,318.
Furthermore, a surge in infection rates has been detected in every state except for Nevada in the last two weeks, but the states with the most infection rates are mainly in the south, with Florida having the highest rate of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths at the moment.
Although the mask requirement has been imposed by several states in the US, there have been many passengers refusing to wear one during flights, as the Federal Aviation Administration reveals that 3,889 cases of unruly cases are being reported, with almost 74 percent of them being attributed to the mask requirements.
The act to extend the mandate was welcomed by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, with their President Sara Nelson saying the extension will help significantly to keep passengers and aviation workers safe.
“While vaccination has been key to the increased air travel demand, the lagging vaccination rates and rise of the Delta variant has caused cases to skyrocket again – threatening lives, continued virus mutation, and recovery from this pandemic,” Sara Nelson added.
Previously, the US warned it would open borders for international travelers who have been fully vaccinated, following suit of several countries, especially for European countries that have been subject to the 16-month ban.
“A new system ready for when we can reopen travel, which will include a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated,” a White House official said.
Since January 2020, authorities in the US have imposed a travel ban on the European Union countries, India, South Africa, Iran, the United Kingdom, and Brazil, due to the Coronavirus situation.