Facemask Required In The Capital Region. That’s An Order!
You are required to wear a facemask while using public transportation and while traveling on a plane. The Center for Disease Control has issued an order that requires face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation. If you do not comply you will be removed from the mode of transportation. (airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares)
Hasn't this already been policy for most public transportation? The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has held a mask requirement since at least September 2020, if not earlier.
Albany International Airport has a link to the latest guidelines from the New York State Department of Health stating, in part, to wear a mask if you are within six feet of distance from other individuals, in a situation or setting where they are unable to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals and/or in a public or private transportation carrier or for-hire vehicle. Like a plane!
The Albany-Rensselaer Train Station says, per federal law and Amtrak policy, all customers and employees must wear a face mask at all times while onboard and in stations.
So why is the CDC making this a requirement now? They are saying 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.
I say, well...DUH! Isn't this what most experts, doctors and scientists have been saying for nearly a year?
Depending on the circumstances, public transportation operators must take the following actions and more:
- board only people who wear masks;
- instruct people that wearing a mask on the conveyance is a requirement of federal law and that not complying with the requirement is a violation of federal law;
- at the earliest safe opportunity, disembark any person who refuses to comply; and
People are not required to wear a mask under the following circumstances:
- while eating, drinking, or taking medication for brief periods of time;
- if, on an aircraft, wearing of oxygen masks is needed because of loss of cabin pressure or other event affecting aircraft ventilation
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