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MSP Airport, Metro Transit drop mask mandates

After a judge struck down the national mask mandate, face coverings are no longer required inside MSP Airport, on Metro Transit or on Uber and Lyft rides.

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) Airport issued a statement Monday night saying masks will no longer be mandated after the TSA rescinded its own enforcement directives.

The announcement followed news that a federal judge in Florida struck down the existing national mandate that had previously been extended from April 18 to May 3 by the Biden administration and applied to buses, taxis and other mass transit.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle called the mandate "unlawful," saying the CDC had overstepped its legal authority by imposing the mandate in February 2021, according to NBC News.

Airlines including Delta, United, American and Sun Country each issued statements with their response to the change.

A statement issued by Delta said, "Effective immediately, masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members and customers inside U.S. airports and on board all aircraft domestically, as well as on most international flights."

United struck a similar chord, issuing a statement that read, "Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports." 

Sun Country issued a statement to KARE 11, saying, "We are informing employees and customers that we are dropping the mask mandate [Monday night]. Messages and announcements are going out right now."

American Airlines issued a release Monday evening saying it would discontinue its mask mandate aboard flights, while also encouraging its customers to adhere to local ordinances regarding masking at airports.

However, airlines and mass transit authorities are still allowed to make their own rules regarding masking, so travelers are encouraged to review policies for their specific airlines.

RELATED: LIST: Major US airlines drop mask requirements after federal mandate voided

The Metropolitan Airports Commission - which oversees MSP and six metro-based general aviation airports - issued the following statement Monday night:

The Metropolitan Airports Commission announces a change to mask enforcement regulations inside terminals and other facilities at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and its six general aviation airports. Effective immediately, wearing masks will be optional after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued guidance that it will no longer enforce mask-related regulations and will be withdrawing security directives that required face masks at airports, on aircraft, and other forms of public transportation.

In the wake of the federal mandate being voided, other transportation services announced changes to their own mask policies, including Metro Transit, which confirmed Tuesday morning that face masks are now optional on buses and trains.

Rideshare services Uber and Lyft also ended their face mask requirements for both drivers and riders.

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