WASHINGTON D.C.: The American public will need to continue wearing masks when they travel by air, rail and bus.
The regulation, currently mandatory, has been extended by the Transportation Security Administration.
The agency announced the extension on Saturday. The mandate was set to expire May 11, but will now continue until Sept. 13.
"The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation," said Darby LaJoye of the TSA administrator.
"Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance, thus far."
The TSA implemented the mandate February 1 as part of President Joe Biden's order promoting protective health measures against COVID-19 in the travel sector.
Under the rules, masks are required at airports, bus and rail stations. The requirement applies to passenger aircraft, public transportation, passenger railroads and over-the-road buses operating on scheduled fixed-routes, the TSA said.
Under existing regulations, those over age 2 who do not wear face masks are denied entry on public transportation.
Of note, face shields and goggles are not acceptable substitutes for masks, the agency noted.
Also, those who refuse to mask can be fined by TSA officials.