PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Throughout the pandemic, Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis held steadfast about his position on mask wearing. In November, he extended his executive order that banned local governments from enforcing mask mandate violations.
Now, at least as far as public transportation goes, there is no more fine line about wearing a mask. Starting Monday at 11:59 p.m., if you are inside an airport, on a bus, train, ferry or ship, or taking a ride-share such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi, it is a federal directive to wear a face covering.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an 11-page order on Saturday that requires the wearing of masks by travelers to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
A scarf, ski mask, or bandana is not classified as a proper face covering, nor is a shirt or sweater collar pulled up over your mouth and nose. And for wearers who like the covering just below their nose, that’s a no-no now, too. Masks must be worn in a way that covers both the mouth and nose, the CDC says.
The CDC is directing those in charge of public transportation and other hubs to make sure that everyone is waring a mask when entering or on their premises.
“This order must be followed by all passengers on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States as well as conveyance operators (e.g., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in the operation of conveyances) and operators of transportation hubs ( e.g., airports, bus or ferry terminals, train or subway stations, seaports, ports of entry) or any other area that provides transportation in the United States.”
See the CDC guidelines below.
The following are attributes of masks needed to fulfill the requirements of the Order. CDC will update this guidance as needed.
- A properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth.
- Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
- Mask should be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head. If gaiters are worn, they should have two layers of fabric or be folded to make two layers.
- Mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
- Mask should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.
The following attributes are additionally acceptable as long as masks meet the requirements above.
- Masks can be either manufactured or homemade.
- Masks can be reusable or disposable.
- Masks can have inner filter pockets.
- Clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel may be used to facilitate communication with people who are hearing impaired or others who need to see a speaker’s mouth to understand speech.
- Medical masks and N-95 respirators fulfill the requirements of the Order.
The following do not fulfill the requirements of the Order.
- Masks worn in a way that does not cover both the mouth and nose
- Face shields or goggles (face shields or goggles may be worn to supplement a mask that meets above required attributes)
- Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, or bandannas
- Shirt or sweater collars (e.g., turtleneck collars) pulled up over the mouth and nose.
- Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
- Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as vinyl, plastic or leather)
- Masks containing slits, exhalation valves, or punctures
- Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)