Keep that face-covering handy!
A set of new presidential executive orders is enacting a national mask mandate for all interstate travel on public transportation, federal buildings, federal land, and other federal sites.
Wearing masks isn't a partisan issue — it's a patriotic act that can save countless lives. That's why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property. It's time to mask up, America.— President Biden (@POTUS) January 21, 2021
According to the "Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing," all federal employees and individuals interacting with them in federal buildings and sites must wear masks and practice appropriate social distancing. Compliance with the mandate will be monitored by the head of each federal department under the guidance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
By definition, federal sites are considered any location under the control of the executive branch of government. Yes, this includes common areas at landmarks and even national parks.
Courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration
For travelers, a face covering will be required for all who travel within the United States and those who enter the U.S. from abroad. The "Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel" issues guidelines for all trips on airplanes, boats, buses, and trains. It also includes public areas like train depots and airports, where travelers are in close contact with other people.
Oversight of the mask mandate for travel falls under the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Homeland Security. Both public and private transportation companies will have federal support for the roll-out of these new rules in the form of consultations and plans for implementation.
Click on the links above to read the full executive orders.
What are your thoughts on the new national mask mandates? Are they common sense, or do you think they're a bit much? Sound off in the comments.