President Biden signs mask mandate via executive order for planes, trains, buses

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Thursday that makes face masks mandatory for air travel and other modes of commercial transportation.

“We’ll be signing an additional executive action to extend masking requirements on interstate travel, like on trains, planes and buses,” Biden said in a televised address, made on his first day in office.

PRESIDENT BIDEN EXPECTED TO MANDATE MASKS ON PLANES, IN AIRPORTS AS PART OF EXECUTIVE ORDER

Shortly after Biden was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, he signed an executive action that made masks and social distancing mandatory on federal property.

Biden’s executive orders come nearly one year after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.

More than 24.5 million Americans have been infected with the novel coronavirus while more than 409,100 Americans have lost their lives to the respiratory illness, according to data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.

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For this reason, Biden urged citizens to “mask up” for the next 100 days as federal and state governments work to make vaccines available.

Airlines had already required customers to wear face masks or coverings while boarding a flight or waiting in airport terminals, however, President Donald Trump did not issue an executive mandate for the PPE.

On Jan. 13, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement about its compliance and enforcement program that issues civil penalties for passengers who refuse to wear masks, follow flight crew instructions or practice disruptive behaviors.

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Multiple aviation trade organizations have since issued messages of support for the FAA and Biden’s stance on mandatory face masks.

The Association of Flight Attendant-CWA is one of the latest to publicly commend the chief of state’s decision.

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President Joe Biden has made face masks mandatory on planes, trains and buses through an exective action he signed on Thursday, Jan. 21. (iStock)

“We welcome President Biden’s nationwide approach to crushing the virus and lifting us out of this pandemic,” said AFA President Sara Nelson, in a statement. “Today’s executive action on a mask mandate for interstate travel, including airports and planes, will provide much needed back up for Flight Attendants and aviation workers on the frontlines. Masks are vitally important to the health of everyone onboard and an especially necessary safety measure in our workspace where proper social distancing is not an option.”

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Additionally, Biden’s executive action makes coronavirus testing mandatory for people who travel to the U.S.

International travelers will need to test negative before they board their flight and are required to quarantine when they enter the country. Biden explained this mandate is meant to protect Americans from the new COVID variants that are being found around the globe.

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Fox News’ Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.

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