NEW YORK - Call it "mask confusion" on mass transit as a dizzying set of rule updates on mask mandates in the New York City region are leaving travelers unclear where and when they need to mask up.
A federal judge in Florida struck down the CDC's nationwide travel mask mandate calling it an overreach. President Joe Biden said he will only appeal the ruling if the CDC believes a mask mandate is still needed. When Biden was asked if people should continue to wear masks on planes, he answered: "That's up to them."
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said mask mandates are still in effect at Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport but have been dropped at Newark Liberty International Airport because New Jersey eliminated the mask mandate.
The policy clarification came after a confusing morning at airport terminals where travelers were sometimes told that masks were required and at other times were allowed to wander the buildings without masks.
"The Port Authority will continue to follow the guidance of the New York and New Jersey public health authorities with respect to mask mandates at its public transportation facilities," the agency said in a statement.
Because of New York public health guidance, the mask mandate remains in effect for the following New York facilities:
- Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal
- George Washington Bridge Bus Station
- World Trade Center Oculus Transportation Hub
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- New York Stewart International Airport (SWF)
The mask mandate has been lifted for the following New Jersey facilities, but masks are now optional and welcome for all who choose to wear them:
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Teterboro Airport (TEB)
The mask mandate remains in effect for the PATH System (including stations and platforms except for open-air platforms).
The MTA announced on Monday that mask rules would remain in effect. That means people who ride the New York City subways and buses, the Staten Island Railway, the Long Island Rail Road, and the Metro-North Railroad will need to continue to wear masks.
Due to varying rules, commuters could be taking masks on and off on various modes of transportation getting to and from work.