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

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with