U.S. CDC issues federal transportation mask mandate effective February 1

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a sign warning to wear masks after California lifted its regional stay-at-home orders during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order late Friday requiring masks in interstate transportation and at transit hubs, including airplanes, mass transit, taxis and trains, starting late Monday.

The CDC said the mask mandate, effective from Feb. 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST, also covers ride-share vehicles and subways and makes not wearing a mask as instructed a violation of federal law. The order does not apply to private cars or commercial trucks being driven by a sole operator.

The CDC directive follows an order from President Joe Biden on Jan. 21 directing agencies to “immediately take action” to require masks on transportation and at transit hubs.

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jane Wardell