Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

This summer has the potential to have as many airline passengers for domestic flights as were seen before the pandemic. Is flying with a mask necessary with so many people in the air again?

Federal Mask Mandate Lifted

After a surprise federal court decision overturned the federal mask mandate in April 2022, the TSA no longer requires wearing a mask.

However, the CDC is requesting that the United States Department of Justice appeal this legal decision. The medical agency and the Biden Administration believe that masks are necessary to protect public health as different coronavirus variants are still prevalent.

A successful appeal can make wearing masks mandatory again to avoid federal fines and penalties.

The CDC recommends that all travelers age two or older wear a mask during public transit.

Airlines And Airports Requiring Masks

Now that the TSA mask mandate for public transportation is suspended, it’s up to individual airlines and airports to set face covering requirements.

This policy is similar to 2020 when airlines required masks before the Biden Administration issued an executive order in January 2021.

Masks are optional within most domestic airports. Currently, only the New York City metro airports within New York State require a mask:

  • JFK International
  • La Guardia (LGA)
  • Stewart International Airport (SWF)

Newark International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey doesn’t require masks despite being a New York City transportation hub.

None of the major commercial airlines currently require passengers to wear masks on flights within the United States.

International Flights May Require Masks

While you may not need to wear a mask to fly within the United States, select international destinations still require passengers to wear a mask.

Some of the destinations include:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Thailand

Reviewing the international travel entry requirements or airline guidelines for a particular destination is the quickest way to see the latest mask policies and travel restrictions.

Summary

Currently, a mask isn’t required for domestic flights unless you’re going through select New York City airports. Masking requirements differ by international destination, and the airline may require passengers to wear a mask, even when the flight originates or arrives in the United States.

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