With mask requirements rapidly changing, keeping track of what is required can get tricky as you move through your day.
Here are the latest masking policies in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation.
What’s required at the federal level?
- Masks on airplanes and other mass transit will no longer be required at the federal level after a U.S. district judge in Florida struck down the mandate on Monday. Airlines and airports swiftly began repealing their requirements that passengers wear face coverings.
- Major airlines and many of the busiest airports rushed to drop their requirements on Monday after the Transportation Security Administration announced it wouldn’t enforce a January 2021 security directive that applied to airplanes, airports, taxis and other mass transit.
What does the new ruling mean for traveling through Sea-Tac Airport?
- Travelers visiting Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will no longer be required to mask up, though airlines may still require face coverings on planes.
- Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Sun Country Airlines are among the airlines that dropped their mask requirements.
Are rules changing on Seattle-area and WA transit?
- Washington State Ferries announced late Monday that masks are no longer required on vessels or inside terminals.
- Masks are now optional on buses, trains and light rail for eight Seattle-area transit-agencies: Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Center Monorail and Sound Transit, according to a joint statement released by the agencies on Tuesday.
- In Whatcom, Snohomish and Clark counties, transit authorities all said on Tuesday that face coverings would be optional.
- In Eastern Washington, Benton-Franklin and Spokane county transit authorities repealed their mask requirements.
Have masking rules changed when using ride share apps?
- As of Tuesday, Uber riders and drivers are no longer required to wear masks. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends wearing a mask if you have certain personal risk factors and/or there are high transmission levels in your area. In an email to customers Tuesday morning, Uber said masks were recommended but no longer required.
- Lyft updated its website Tuesday morning to announce masks are optional for everyone in the car. Riders and drivers are also no longer required to keep the front seat empty or windows open. Lyft said riders and drivers can always cancel any ride they don’t wish to take, however, healthy safety reasons like not wearing a mask will no longer appear as a cancellation option on the Lyft app. People should not drive or ride if they have COVID-19 or related symptoms, the company said.
In the places where mandates have dropped, should you unmask?
One good question to ask yourself: Who is the most vulnerable person in your immediate circle?
People who have compromised immunity, or who live with someone who does, might want to continue wearing a mask and maintaining social distance (particularly in indoor areas). Masks are also important for unvaccinated people or anyone spending time with others who are unvaccinated. Read more expert advice on making daily decisions on when to unmask at st.news/maskchange.
Information from The Associated Press and The New York Times was included in this report.