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Utah joins lawsuit seeking to end public transportation mask mandate

Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 12:45:09-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Utah has joined 20 other states in a lawsuit seeking to end the federal mandate requiring people wear masks on planes, trains, ferries and other public transportation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit was announced Tuesday by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's Attorney General Ashley Moody who claim the mandate exceeds the authority of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mandate in its current form may be in effect only a few weeks more. The CDC recently extended it until April 18 while also indicating it is weighing scaling back the rules for a more targeted approach.

Moody said in a news release that the travel mask mandates “are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation.”

That appeared to be a reference to a spate of well-publicized confrontations between flight attendants and passengers over the mask requirement on commercial aircraft. It’s not clear if these incidents are isolated or widespread, and if masks are the only issue. Some are clearly alcohol-related or a mental health problem.

The lawsuit seeks to immediately halt the CDC travel mask rule and asks for costs and attorneys’ fees. There have been similar lawsuits filed in individual states before this latest one.