Chicago’s O’Hare airport to enforce mask usage

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport will continue to enforce masking despite multiple airlines dropping their requirements following a federal judge’s ruling.

“The safety and security of passengers and employees is the highest priority for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA),” the airport said in a tweeted statement.

“The CDA will continue to follow, observe and enforce all guidance by federal, state and local health and security authorities,” the statement added, specifically citing an Illinois executive order that mandates masks “on public transportation and in transportation hubs.”

While the change in policy was welcomed by some, the different masking requirements certainly complicate how travelers handle masking while flying. 

On Monday evening, multiple airlines, including United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, opted to make masking optional for passengers and employees.

United Airlines, which has its hub at O’Hare, confirmed its change in policy in an email to The Hill on Monday, saying that “effective immediately, masks are no longer required” on domestic flights and on “select international flights” or at U.S. airports.

The change in masking requirements on transportation comes after a federal judge in Florida, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for travel on planes, trains and buses.

However, the CDC still “recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.” 

Tags airlines CDC Chicago COVID-19 O'Hare Airport TSA TSA Mask Mandates

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