- The majority of Americans said in May that travelers should still wear face masks on planes and other public transportation.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that people in high-risk communities should return to wearing masks in indoor public spaces, including on public transportation.
- Support for mask authorization while traveling is largely divided along political lines in the United States
As Americans approach the summer travel season, coronavirus cases — and hospitalizations to some extent — are increasing in many parts of the country, especially in the Northeast.
This shift prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week to advise people in communities in
However, face masks are still optional in most places, even those with increasing numbers of cases.
This leaves travelers to decide for themselves whether to wear a mask while boarding a plane, train, subway or taxi.
While some Americans will welcome a mask-free summer, a Pew Research Center survey this month found that a majority of Americans believe masks are still necessary on planes and other public transportation, where physical distancing is nearly impossible.
In April, a federal judge in Florida rescinded the CDC mask mandate for public transportation, which has been in effect ever since.
The Department of Justice is appealing that decision after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the mask base was “within the limits of [its] The legal authority to protect public health.”
Even after the federal mask mandate was revoked, 57 percent of Americans said travelers should wear face masks while traveling on planes and other public transportation, according to the Pew Center.
However, Americans’ support for face masks is largely divided along partisan and similar lines.
Eighty percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say passengers on planes and other public transportation should be masked.
In contrast, only 29 percent of Republicans and independents who are weak Republicans said masks should be required.
Support for mandatory masks on public transportation is higher among those who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (66 percent) compared to the unvaccinated (25 percent)
Additionally, people who are “extremely” or “somewhat” worried that they will catch coronavirus and need to be hospitalized are more likely to prefer mask policies on public transportation.
In general, mask use has declined in the United States since early in the pandemic.
Thirty percent of Americans said they’ve worn a mask “all or most of the time” within the past month when they’re in stores or other businesses, according to the survey.
That’s less than 80 percent before vaccines were available.
More Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents reported more frequent mask use in business (42 percent), compared to Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (14 percent).
Despite the decrease in the use of masks in general, travel experts say that many travelers still wear masks on flights.
said Maclean Robbins, luxury travel consultant and owner of Lily Pond Luxury in Vienna, Virginia.
“Many clients still choose to mask off, while others have the flexibility to do so based on their personal choice, given their specific condition or health conditions,” she added.
However, mask use on some flights was less.
Keri Boe, a blogger at Bon Voyage With Kids, said there were very few passengers wearing masks on a recent flight from Boston to Memphis.
“I was really surprised,” she said.
He said that, like [COVID] The numbers are starting to rise, I’ve heard about some in person [travelers] Be more careful.”
Poe said families with children who are too young to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have a family member who is at risk of developing severe illness may be more likely to wear a mask on the plane.
As of May 18, more than 32 percent of Americans live in a county with a medium or high community risk level of COVID-19, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle B.
The CDC recommends that everyone in high-risk areas wear a mask in indoor public spaces; Those in medium-risk areas should consider wearing a mask based on their level of risk.
However, in [areas with] Any COVID-19 community [risk] levels, individuals may always choose to wear a mask to protect themselves from infection,” Walensky said.
Throughout the pandemic, though, the use of masks has veered beyond a personal decision, with people on both sides considering the options of others.
A Pew survey shows that Americans are more tolerant of others who choose not to wear masks in public.
63 percent of Americans say it bothers them “not much” or “not at all” when people around them in public are not wearing masks.
In contrast, 72 percent of Americans in November 2020 said they were bothered “some” or “a lot” by people not wearing masks. This was before COVID-19 vaccines were released to the public.
Airlines have seen their fair share of controversies over face masks, with some controversies reportedly descending into mid-flight quarrels.
Baugh was lucky enough not to experience this kind of stress about masks during the flight.
“On my last flight, the pilot asked everyone to respect each person’s mask choice, regardless of whether that choice differed from theirs,” she said, “and from where I was sitting, that appears to be the case.”
As more Americans take to the skies, rails and roads this summer—with some convincing and some not–following this pilot’s advice can help make this travel season less stressful.