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AP News Reports Majority of Americans Want Travel Mask Mandate to Stay in Place

The poll was conducted in the days before a Florida judge voided the federal public transportation mask mandate


The Associated Press says the majority of Americans are in favor of mask requirements on public transportation.

The outlet published a new poll that surveyed public opinion on the issues days after a federal judge in Florida voided the COVID-19 era travel mask mandate.

The poll was conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and released on April 20. Between April 14 and April 18, 1,085 adults were interviewed online and over the phone to evaluate if the American public still felt masks should be worn during travel.

Participants were asked if they “favor, oppose, or neither favor nor oppose requiring” masks in certain circumstances.

AP News reports that 56% of Americans ”strongly” or “somewhat” favor requiring people to wear masks while traveling on airplanes, trains, or other public transportation. 

The poll’s analysts did not include what portion of that percentage were “strongly” in favor and which were “somewhat” in favor of making masks a requirement.

In total, 44% of Americans were found to either oppose or “neither favor nor oppose” requiring masks on public transportation. That included 24% who “somewhat” or “strongly” oppose a mask mandate.

The majority (51%) of Americans opposed or had a neutral opinion of requiring people attending public events, including movies, sporting events, or concerts, to wear masks.

The same portion of the country was neutral or opposed to requiring workers who interact with the public to wear masks. This includes retail staff and restaurant servers.

Views on mask requirements are highly partisan,” AP-NORC reported in the poll’s analysis. “Democrats are more likely to favor mask requirements for workers who interact with the public, for people attending crowded public events, and on public transportation than Republicans or independents.”

Approximately 80% of Democrats surveyed said they are in favor of the travel mask mandate. Only 33% of Republicans and 45% of independents felt the same way.

The mandate was voided by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on April 18. Mizelle found the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not properly justified the mandate and failed to comply with rulemaking procedures. 

The Transportation Security Administration announced after the ruling that it would no longer enforce the mandate. In subsequent days, Delta, United, and Alaska Airlines all dropped the COVID-19 pandemic requirement.

The daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths has declined steadily for weeks in the United States, according to CDC data. Currently, the weekly average of COVID-19 cases is 78.3 per 100,000 people.

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