April 20, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

A federal judge in a Florida district court has overturned the mandate requiring people to wear masks on public transport, in ride shares and on aeroplanes across the United States.

The mandate was the result of an executive order by US President Joe Biden and an order from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requiring passengers to wear a face covering on all forms of public transit. The CDC recently extended the majority of the mandate until early May.

In her ruling, US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle wrote: “The Mask Mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rule making under the APA [Administrative Procedure Act].”

The ruling, which essentially says the CDC does not have the authority to introduce such a law and did not follow due administrative process in doing so, has immediately ended a federal requirement to wear masks on aeroplanes and public transport throughout the United States, with several airlines ditching the requirement immediately.

Masks in close contact settings have consistently been promoted throughout the pandemic by health experts as an effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19.