Because new COVID-19 cases across the U.S. are steadily dropping, health authorities are considering loosening mask mandates. Following the CDC’s initiative to revise their policies on mask-wearing, several U.S. states, such as California and Colorado, are spearheading plans to switch from an emergency response mentality to a more relaxed but preventive strategy.
While plans are underway to shift back to normalcy, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Small and careful steps should be taken to return to normal life pre-COVID, and that calls for a couple of basic measures to ensure we don’t face another surge.
Extended Mask-Wearing Requirements on Transport Corridors
The Biden administration has announced its decision to extend mask-wearing mandates for travelers on airplanes, trains, ships, buses, taxis, and ride-shares, as well as their respective transit hubs, stations, and terminals.
While decisions to drop mask mandates are being reviewed, this requirement will be in effect up until the 18th of April. This is the third extension of the transit order issued by the CDC in January 2021.
Biden Administration Considering Lifting Testing Requirements for Travel
In addition to extending the mask mandate in transportation corridors, the Biden administration is also considering lifting testing requirements for airlines passengers. Most countries have stopped requiring travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test before their date of departure, and the U.S. is looking to follow suit.
However, if it is implemented, the non-requirement of a negative COVID-19 test will only be applicable for vaccinated individuals. Further, only those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be entertained for foreign air travel.
Increasing Safety While In Transit
According to the scientific community, we are well on our way to seeing the end of COVID-19’s pandemic phase, but experts also warn of the possibility of a new COVID-19 surge. Considering that a large indicator of when COVID-19 will end depends on human behavior, these basic mandates on mask-wearing and vaccination exist to help us get closer to herd immunity and leave COVID-19 behind once and for all.