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CDC Recommends Face Masks in All Public Transportation Settings

Agency urges transport operators to 'refuse boarding to anyone not wearing a mask'

man on train wearing mask

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Seeking to slow the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Monday that face masks be worn by everyone in all public transportation settings. That includes both passengers and people working in stations, terminals, and airports across the country,CBS Newsreported.

In the new interim guidance, the CDC called masks "one of the most effective strategies available for reducing COVID-19 transmission." Wide use of masks helps protect those at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as well as workers who frequently come into close contact with other people in airports, bus terminals, train stations, and seaports, the guidance stated.

Most U.S. airlines, Amtrak, and many other transport companies already require passengers and staff to wear masks,CBS Newsreported. The CDC urged passengers and workers on all airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares to follow suit.

For months, research has shown that face masks help curb the spread of COVID-19. In the new guidance, the CDC said everyone "should wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when waiting for, traveling on, or departing from public [transportation]. People should also wear masks at an airport, bus or ferry terminal, train or subway station, seaport, or similar area that provides transportation."

The guidance also urges transport operators to "refuse boarding to anyone not wearing a mask and require all people onboard, whether passengers or employees, to wear masks for the duration of travel," with exceptions for eating, drinking, and medical disorders that prohibit mask wearing.

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