Mask mandate lifted on MBTA, in Logan Airport

The MBTA will offer free masks during peak morning and evening commute times at the Charles/MGH, Downtown Crossing, Forest Hills, Hynes Convention Center, Maverick, Orient Heights, Park Street and Quincy Center stations.

BOSTON — Massachusetts is dropping its mask requirement on the MBTA and in airports, transportation officials announced Tuesday.

The decision comes a day after a U.S. District Court judge voided the national mask mandate on airplanes and other public transportation.

“The Commonwealth has followed federal guidance in terms of face coverings and to be consistent with that, we are lifting the face covering mandate at the Commonwealth’s transportation hubs and on most public transportation vehicles,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “While these face covering requirements are being lifted, we remind travelers that masks are welcome if people choose to wear them.”

In a joint statement with MassDOT and Massport, the T said the mandate has been lifted on MBTA vehicles and inside MBTA buildings. Masks will continue to be required on the RIDE paratransit service.

“Customers are no longer required to wear a mask on MBTA vehicles, or at stations or facilities if they choose not to; however, if people feel more comfortable wearing a facemask, then by all means continue to do so,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said. “The MBTA remains committed to safety and will continue adhering to all CDC and Massachusetts’ public health guidance. The T is continuing to clean vehicles and stations regularly and upgrade air filtration systems.”

Travelers inside airports, Conley Terminal and the Logan Express service will no longer be required to wear a face covering. Massport said Logan Airport began taking down signs regarding masks Tuesday morning.

Major airlines began announcing Monday evening that masks are now optional for employees and passengers.

“In line with the TSA’s guidance, mask wearing will now be optional within our airport facilities and on Logan Express buses,” Massport CEO Lisa Wieland said. “There may still be certain requirements onboard international flights, so we would encourage those passengers to check with their airline and destination.”

Most of the state’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities are rescinding their face-covering mandates, but riders should check with a specific RTA to confirm the policy, transportation officials said.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of Florida struck down the order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), determining the CDC had exceeded its authority and finding the mandate unlawful.

The CDC had extended the requirement through May 3 to study the latest COVID-19 subvariant.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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