SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority said it will maintain its mask requirement for now, despite the Transportation Security Administration saying it will no longer enforce the federal government’s mask mandate for travel.
“As this issue makes its way through our legal process, the federal policy remains in place,” Muni said in a series of tweets. “For the time being, as we wait to learn more, masks remain required on SFMuni.” The thread went on to say that Muni passengers “are not at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 on a bus or train than they are in any other outdoor location.”
The TSA’s announcement that it would no longer be enforcing the federal mandate followed an earlier ruling from a federal judge in Florida voiding the national mask mandate covering airplanes and other public transportation as exceeding the authority of U.S. health officials. That decision by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking.
Muni’s tweet thread explaining its decision sought to reassure passengers, saying that “On transit fresh air is constantly pulled in from the outside and is continuously filtered and recirculated by the SF Muni HVAC systems.” The tweet thread also said it’s likely your fellow passengers are vaccinated, citing the statistic that some 80% of San Franciscans are fully vaccinated and 65% are boosted.
“SF Muni riders wear masks,” the thread said. “At the moment, the FTA requires everyone on transit to wear a mask. Even when this changes, masks will be a good option.”