Americans can rejoice after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the mask mandate is no longer a federal law and now optional for passengers during flights, trains and other transportation methods. The CDC extended the mask mandate through May 3; however, after the Judge’s ruling, an official for the Biden Administration has said that the order is no longer in effect. 

Like the passenger said in the Twitter video that went viral at the beginning of the week, “FINALLY!”

It is finally time that passengers can put away their masks that have been lingering around for so long. Having flown multiple flights domestically throughout the last year, is it not time that this mandate is lifted? 

After multiple trips over the last few years sitting on a plane while people next to you are constantly taking off their masks to eat and drink and others ignoring it completely, this move is clearly long overdue. It was always a situation that seemed murky and inconsistent, so I am all in favor of leaving it up to passenger discretion. 

The boosters and vaccinations have worked, and cities and states have reopened and started to thrive once again. Also, some of those who have decided not to get the vaccination have appeared to get the antibodies that have protected them from the virus.

As of right now, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have made it optional for passengers to fly with a mask. Although, multiple airlines have expressed that there may be some inconsistencies with enforcement of the new situation as flight crews and airlines will be receiving this information at different times. 

The latter statement does make me nervous because I can already see the new video that is going to go viral now of someone pressing the issue on a flight staff or other passenger. Regardless, it was the right decision for the federal judge to make and make things more comfortable for those adamant about not wearing a mask, while still leaving the option for those that want to wear one. 

United Airlines and a couple of other airlines have a select few flights internationally that will also apply the new policy. But for now, the recent news primarily applies to domestic flights and transportation. This also means for some airlines, like Southwest, have also made it optional for their workers as well.

With April about to turn the corner and turn into May, many are gearing up for summer travel, including myself. I am planning to travel abroad this summer as flights are as little as $300 for some European countries, and I encourage others to look into it. 

It is time now, wherever you may stand on things, to get going and moving in this precious life that we have.

It appears to me that the old “normal” that we all hoped to once regain back is in sight and no it may not be the exact same, but it sure is good to travel, eat and meet with fellow human beings again. This is all to say that those do not have to boast about their ideologies, but this update in the mask policy is a major step in the right direction because frankly, the mandate in transportation was very inconsistently enforced and didn’t make much sense. Especially when they need to eat, hydrate, take medicine etc. 

We are long past due for the time to get things back on track to whatever normal looks like. So I say, away with the masks!