On April 18, a court ruling voided the federal requirement that people wear masks on public transportation. This has led some airlines, airports, and transit systems to lift their requirement that passengers or employees wear masks, while other airlines and systems are keeping those requirements in place. Check with your airline or local carrier for their current mask policy.

The CDC is still recommending that everyone age 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask or a high filtration mask such as an N95, KN95, and KF94 when indoors on public transportation and transportation hubs.

Whether or not a carrier is requiring mask wearing, individual passengers are recommended to wear a mask—especially when in crowds or poorly ventilated areas, during international travel or long-distance domestic travel, when the COVID-19 Community Level is high, or if you or a family member is at high risk for getting severely ill if infected with  COVID-19. For example, older adults and anyone with an underlying health condition that would make COVID-19 infection more serious, (e.g., diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer) or anyone who has older family members or family members with underlying health issues, should continue to wear a mask as a precaution against becoming infected and spreading the virus.

CDC recommendations on mask-wearing on public transportation are based on the latest scientific data on COVID-19 and current and projected trends in the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level Framework. For more information about safer travel during the pandemic, including mask-wearing tips and recommendations for post-travel, visit the CDC Domestic and International Travel pages.

Updated May 4, 2022