Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US requires mask-wearing on all public transport



US requires mask-wearing on all public transport

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US President Joe Biden (centre), flanked by Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre director Colonel Andrew Barr (second left), visits a coronavirus vaccination site at the centre in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday. AFP

US requires mask-wearing on all public transport

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a sweeping order requiring the wearing of masks to protect against the spread of Covid-19 on virtually every form of public transportation throughout the country.

The order, issued late on January 29, extends to travel on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, ride-shares, subways, ferries and ships.

It expands on one of the first executive orders signed by President Joe Biden, which required masking for interstate travel as part of a larger strategy to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The new order, which also covers intrastate travel, takes effect at 11:59pm on February 1 (0459 February 2 GMT).

The order states: “Wearing masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel safely even during this pandemic.

“Therefore, requiring masks will help us control this pandemic and aid in reopening America’s economy.”

The CDC order covers passengers and transportation operators both during travel and while waiting in transportation hubs.

It says operators must make “best efforts” to enforce mask-wearing, and if necessary should disembark anyone refusing to comply.

It says, without providing much detail, that enforcement will ultimately be the responsibility of the federal Transportation Security Administration, as well as of “cooperating state and local authorities”.

Noncompliance will constitute “a violation of federal law”, according to the order.

Exemptions to mask-wearing are allowed for people eating, drinking or taking medication, as well as those communicating with the hearing-impaired. Masks can also be briefly removed during identity checks.

The US has the world’s worst Covid-19 statistics, but the numbers of cases and hospitalisations have declined for the past two weeks, with some experts partly crediting improved adherence to masking and social-distancing measures.

One of Biden’s first official acts after his inauguration January 20 was to order mask-wearing on federal property. He has said consistent mask-wearing could save 50,000 US lives by April.

But former President Donald Trump frequently mocked the practice – and was rarely seen wearing a mask – making enforcement of the new standard more problematic in some parts of the country.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in