CLEVELAND — As transportation systems across the country like airlines, Uber and Lyft all announce updated COVID guidance in which masks are no longer required, some Northeast Ohio organizations are doing the same.
The updated mask policies come after a federal judge in Florida decided to overturn the national mask mandate on public transportation, which the CDC extended last week through May 3.
On Tuesday, medical professionals in Cleveland expressed their opposition to the mandate ending during a time when many families are traveling for spring break.
"I would've waited a couple of weeks to see what this BA.2 variant," Dr. Amy Edwards from University Hospitals said. "We've been seeing a slight increase. We know this is peak spring break travel time."
Many folks at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport had mixed reactions. One passenger told 3News that thought everyone should continue to wear their masks because we aren't over the COVID-19 pandemic, while another passenger says she is so happy that she doesn't have to wear a mask anymore and that life is back to normal.
Edwards says it's important for people that are considered high-risk of contracting COVID-19 to continue to wear a mask and avoid crowded settings.
"We can continue to urge people, especially high-risk people, to mask and especially using very high quality masks," Edwards said.
Here are some of the local entities no longer requiring masks:
Masks are no longer required inside the airport.
“According to the TSA, face masks are no longer required for your upcoming air travel,” CAK officials noted on Facebook. “If you prefer to keep yours on, then please do so. The CDC continues to recommend travelers wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”
Akron METRO Regional Transit Authority
“METRO is no longer requiring facial coverings/masks on buses or in transit hubs,” officials announced Tuesday. “We encourage anyone who is not fully vaccinated, feeling ill or who is immunocompromised to use caution and consider facial coverings for their personal safety.”
For those interested in wearing a mask, some will be available at the Transit Center Security Office.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
CLE says masks are no longer required inside the airport, but travelers should be prepared to wear a mask on their flight if it’s required by the airline.
“Please check with your airline prior to departure,” airport officials noted on Facebook. “The CDC still recommends that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Masks are no longer required on the train.
“Due to the recent court ruling, effective immediately, CVSR will no longer require masks for guests while on the train and at our boarding stations,” said Joe Mazur, CVSR President and CEO. “We always want our guests to feel comfortable while on the train. While we will not enforce masks, guests who would like to wear a mask should feel free to wear one when joining us.”
This Friday’s Cleveland Dinner & Event Train will be the first excursion in more than a year to run with no mask requirements, officials said.
Greater Cleveland RTA
The authority's mask mandate has been suspended for employees and passengers on all trains and buses. However, those who are not vaccinated, are feeling sick, or are immunocompromised are still "strongly encouraged" to weath facial coverings.
"The GCRTA appreciates our team members and transit riders who have helped reduce the spread of COVID-19, so we can continue to provide safe transit service to the community," officials said in a statement.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated COVID story on April 14, 2022.