At this time, CDC recommends that everyone aged 2 and older – including passengers and workers – properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, etc.) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, etc.). When people properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator, they protect themselves and those around them, and help keep travel and public transportation safer for everyone. Wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator is most beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated locations, such as airport jetways. We also encourage operators of public transportation and transportation hubs to support mask wearing by all people, including employees.
This public health recommendation is based on the currently available data, including an understanding of domestic and global epidemiology, circulating variants and their impact on disease severity and vaccine effectiveness, current trends in COVID-19 Community Levels within the United States, and projections of COVID-19 trends in the coming months.
Along with staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, avoiding crowds, wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator is one of multiple prevention steps that people can take to protect themselves and others in travel and transportation settings.
For more information about safer travel during the pandemic, see Domestic Travel During COVID-19 | CDC and International Travel | CDC.
The following can be attributed to CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH:
CDC continues to recommend that all people—passengers and workers, alike—properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs to provide protection for themselves and other travelers in these high volume, mixed population settings. We now have a range of tools we need to protect ourselves from the impact of COVID-19, including access to high-quality masks and respirators for all who need them.
Additionally, it is important for all of us to protect not only ourselves, but also to be considerate of others at increased risk for severe COVID-19 and those who are not yet able to be vaccinated. Wearing a mask in indoor public transportation settings will provide protection for the individual and the community.