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6 Places You Must Wear a Mask, Starting Today

Mask mandates are here on all forms of public transportation.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

During his election campaign, now-President Joe Biden promised that if elected, he would tighten up mask restrictions as one of his tactics to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Just weeks into his presidency, he joined forces with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and issued an executive order Jan. 21 calling for "immediate action" on mask-wearing for "all forms of public transportation." The order, which went into effect last night at 11:59 pm and is detailed on the CDC website, will require "all passengers on public conveyances" traveling into or within the United States, and also transportation workers to mask up. Read on to find out where you will need to wear protective face coverings—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


Airplanes and Airports

Virus mask woman travel wearing face protection in prevention for coronavirus at airport.

From the time you arrive at the airport until you arrive at your final destination and get into your vehicle, plan on keeping your mask on. If you refuse, transportation workers are required by law to deny you entry. 


Ships and Ferries 


Cruise ships were one of the first places to host superspreader events with several linked to large outbreaks. From the time you board until the moment to disembark, you will be required to wear a mask any time you are in a public space. 


Trains and Train Stations 

Friends meeting in public during virus outbreak

From the train station to inside of the train cars, expect to keep your mask securely in place. If you take it off, you will be removed "at the earliest opportunity." 


Subways and Subway Stations

medical mask in the metro

Subway stations and subway cars are usually enclosed and cramped spaces with very little circulation, making them risky for COVID-19 transmission. From now on you will have to wear your protective face covering anytime you are traveling this way. 

RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors


Buses and Bus Depots

Woman wearing surgical protective mask pushing the button in a public transportation.

Buses and bus depots also make it difficult to stay six feet apart from others. Now, you will have to wear your mask anytime you are traveling in one or else you will be breaking Federal law. 


Taxis and Ride Shares

male taxi driver wearing face protective medical mask driving car with passenger

Don't think about hopping in a cab, an uber, or a rideshare to the airport without being masked up. 


Who It Doesn't Apply To

Woman putting on face mask while sitting in a cafe during coronavirus.

There are a few exceptions to the new mask mandate, including children 2 or younger (who should never wear a mask), commercial trucks and military transportation. Additionally, if you are eating or drinking you can briefly remove your mask, per the CDC. 

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci


Do Your Part All of the Time

Two friends with protective masks greet with waving to each other.Alternative greeting during quarantine to avoid physical contact

Follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more