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Congressman Sires Urges Department of Transportation and Department of Health and Human Services to Issue Emergency Rule on Face Masks for Air Travel

Oct 15, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires sent a letter to Secretary Chao of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Secretary Azar of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging the agencies to work collaboratively and expeditiously to issue an emergency rule requiring all individuals traveling by air to wear a face mask while onboard aircrafts and while in airports.

“As we continue to see new COVID-19 cases rise across the country, all while Americans are beginning to travel again, I believe it is the duty of the federal government to set strong, clear, and uniform standards for the traveling public rather than just suggested guidance,” stated Rep. Sires. “That is why I urged Secretary Chao and Secretary Azar to immediately issue a rule requiring all individuals traveling by air to wear a face mask at all times while onboard aircrafts and in airports. I believe a nationwide rule is needed because air travel is an interstate issue, and states, airlines and airports have all adopted inconsistent policies regarding face masks. The American people have endured tremendous loss this year, and I believe this rule could help save lives, while also instilling confidence and reassurance that their safety is the federal government’s number one priority.”

Text of the letter can be found here.