On Jan. 29, 2021, CDC issued an order that requires face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation (which includes all passengers and all personnel operating conveyances). People must wear masks that completely cover both the mouth and nose while awaiting, boarding, disembarking, or traveling on airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares as they are traveling into, within, or out of the United States and U.S. territories. People must also wear masks while at transportation hubs (e.g., airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, seaports) and other locations where people board public transportation in the United States and U.S. territories. This includes anyone who recovered from COVID-19 or has had the vaccine.

Exemptions to this updated rule include children under 2; a person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, for reasons related to the disability; or a person for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.

According to CDC, scientific evidence shows that consistent and universal use of masks on public transportation systems and in transportation hubs will protect Americans and help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Mask use will enable Americans to travel responsibly and as safely as possible when they need to travel during the pandemic.