On Tuesday, Florida, along with 20 other states, challenged the federal government’s requirement that people wear masks on planes, trains, ferries, and other public transportation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Filed in federal court in Tampa, Florida, and led by Governor Ron DeSantis, the lawsuit contends that the mask mandate exceeds the authority of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life,” said DeSantis.
The lawsuit challenges a CDC guideline effective Feb. 1, 2021, which requires “the wearing of masks by people on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs,” according to the agency website. The rule has been relaxed somewhat, to end requirements for certain buses and so forth, but was recently extended until at least April 18 for domestic and international travel in general.
The lawsuit seeks to immediately halt the CDC travel mask rule and asks for costs and attorneys’ fees. There have been similar lawsuits filed in individual states before this latest one.
Besides Florida, the states filing the new travel mask lawsuit as of Tuesday were: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.