Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US requires mask-wearing on all public transport



US requires mask-wearing on all public transport

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US President Joe Biden (centre), flanked by Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre director Colonel Andrew Barr (second left), visits a coronavirus vaccination site at the centre in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday. AFP

US requires mask-wearing on all public transport

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a sweeping order requiring the wearing of masks to protect against the spread of Covid-19 on virtually every form of public transportation throughout the country.

The order, issued late on January 29, extends to travel on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, ride-shares, subways, ferries and ships.

It expands on one of the first executive orders signed by President Joe Biden, which required masking for interstate travel as part of a larger strategy to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The new order, which also covers intrastate travel, takes effect at 11:59pm on February 1 (0459 February 2 GMT).

The order states: “Wearing masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel safely even during this pandemic.

“Therefore, requiring masks will help us control this pandemic and aid in reopening America’s economy.”

The CDC order covers passengers and transportation operators both during travel and while waiting in transportation hubs.

It says operators must make “best efforts” to enforce mask-wearing, and if necessary should disembark anyone refusing to comply.

It says, without providing much detail, that enforcement will ultimately be the responsibility of the federal Transportation Security Administration, as well as of “cooperating state and local authorities”.

Noncompliance will constitute “a violation of federal law”, according to the order.

Exemptions to mask-wearing are allowed for people eating, drinking or taking medication, as well as those communicating with the hearing-impaired. Masks can also be briefly removed during identity checks.

The US has the world’s worst Covid-19 statistics, but the numbers of cases and hospitalisations have declined for the past two weeks, with some experts partly crediting improved adherence to masking and social-distancing measures.

One of Biden’s first official acts after his inauguration January 20 was to order mask-wearing on federal property. He has said consistent mask-wearing could save 50,000 US lives by April.

But former President Donald Trump frequently mocked the practice – and was rarely seen wearing a mask – making enforcement of the new standard more problematic in some parts of the country.

MOST VIEWED

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol