(The Center Square) – With the federal mask mandate on public transportation voided by a federal judge, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is updating Illinois’ mandates.
A federal judge ruled Monday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its authority in continuing mask mandates since February 2021. The mandate for airplanes, buses and other public transportation was lifted.
In Springfield, the Sangamon Mass Transit District announced masks were optional.
“Masks are no longer required to board an SMTD vehicle,” the organization said on its website. “The Transportation Safety Administration has withdrawn the mask mandate extension for public transportation. Automated public service announcements played on buses regarding masks can be ignored.”
In Chicago, The Hill reports O’Hare International Airport announced masks would still be mandated inside the airport.
The Chicago Department of Aviation website says “By Illinois Executive Order 2022-06, face coverings are required to be worn while on public transportation and in transportation hubs. This directive includes O'Hare and Midway International Airports.”
Earlier in the day Tuesday at an unrelated event, Gov. J.B. Pritzker was asked what the federal ruling means for Illinois. He said the CDC’s extension of the mandate “was interfered with” by the judge’s ruling.
“Our plans and our mitigations are in place as they have been, we want to encourage local governments and businesses to take actions that they think will keep their patrons, their local residents safe,” Pritzker said. “We’re going to continue to report on how we’re doing as a state very importantly so that people can take the mitigation measures home and decide for themselves how they want to operate.”
Later in the day, his office announced a modification to one of his executive orders.
“As a result, masks will no longer be required on public transit, in public transit hubs, or in airports. Executive Order 2022-06 will be amended to reflect these changes,” Pritzker's office said. “Local municipalities retain the right to establish their own mitigations, including masking requirements on public transportation.”