A Red Line train prepares to leave the Glenmont Metro station in Silver Spring, Maryland, on March 24. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** A Red Line train prepares to leave the Glenmont Metro station in Silver Spring, Maryland, on March 24. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

D.C. and Prince George’s County officials announced Thursday that masks are optional for transit systems.

In the District, riders on the streetcar and the DC Circulator are not required to wear masks, said officials with the D.C. Department of Transportation. In Prince George’s County, customers and operators riding on TheBus, PGC Link and Call-a-Bus have the option of wearing masks, according to a news release from the Department of Public Works and Transportation.

The decision of the two jurisdictions comes after a federal judge in Florida nixed the federal mask mandate for public transportation modes such as airplanes, trains and buses, and in travel hubs on Monday. The U.S. Justice Department indicated Thursday that it will appeal Mizelle’s order.

Jurisdictional officials said they follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding mask-wearing in public places. Additionally, Prince George’s officials said they wanted their transit system to be consistent with others in the Washington region.

“We encourage our customers to make decisions that are in the best interests,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “If you are still hesitant about removing your mask, I want you to know that we support and respect your decision. Prince Georgians have done a great job protecting each other for two years wearing masks, getting tested, and getting vaccinated. While the fight is not over, data shows that we can safely start this new phase of the pandemic.”

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