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**FILE** Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Travelers will have to continue to wear masks while aboard planes, trains and public transit for the next 15 days, Biden administrations officials announced Wednesday.

The national mask mandate was extended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to a recent increase in coronavirus cases. The initial order was scheduled to expire Monday.

The extension runs until May 3 to give scientists more time to study the effects of BA.2, the omicron subvariant that presently makes up most of the coronavirus cases in the U.S.

“In order to assess the potential impact, the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, the CDC order will remain in place at this time,” the agency said in a statement, WTOP reported.

The CDC extension applies to customers riding buses, trains and planes, and in transit hubs.

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