Metro and other transit agencies have made mask-wearing optional for riders in the wake of a federal judge shooting down a nationwide mask mandate for public transit.
U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida ruled Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn’t follow rulemaking procedure in creating the mandate or justify its use, WTOP reported.
The mask mandate was set to expire Monday but the CDC had sought to extend it until May 3.
Metro said customers and employees subsequently are no longer required to wear masks while aboard its trains, buses and MetroAccess vehicles.
“Our mask mandate has been based on federal guidance,” Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds, but masks will be optional on Metro property until further notice.”
Amtrak and airlines such as United, Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue and Spirit also have shifted to a mask-optional stance, and the Transportation Security Administration has suspended enforcement of the mask mandate at transit hubs.
Uber said it will no longer require riders or drivers to wear masks during trips as of Tuesday morning.
WTOP reported that Biden administration officials are reviewing Mizelle’s decision.