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CTA And Metra Say Masks No Longer Required On Buses, Trains As Illinois Lifts Mandate On Public Transportation

The state will no longer require people to wear masks on public transit or in travel hubs like train stations and airports.

People wear masks as they move through Terminal 1 at O'Hare International Airport on May 9, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The CTA and Metra announced riders will no longer be required to wear masks after Gov. JB Pritzker Tuesday said the state is ending its requirement to wear masks on public transportation.

City and county governments can still impose their own rules — but the state will no longer require people to wear masks on public transit or in travel hubs like train stations and airports, according to the governor’s office. The change is being made after a judge on Monday struck down a federal rule that required masking on public transportation.

Pritzker is amending the executive order that required masking on public transit, according to his office.

Metra immediately announced it would no longer require travelers to wear masks on trains, though masks “will be welcome,” according to a news release.

The CTA followed suit later Tuesday, saying masks are no longer required. “Those who wish to continue masking are encouraged to do so,” the CTA said in a tweet. “Please be kind courteous to fellow riders as we continue to welcome folks back to the CTA.”

Pace also said masks are no longer required on its buses or in its facilities.

Just earlier in the day, Chicago health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady held a livestream where she said masking is still required on the CTA under Pritzker’s order. Mayor Lori Lightfoot then said that rule would likely end soon.

The state and city lifted their general indoor mask requirements in February as COVID-19 cases plunged after the Omicron surge.

Cases have begun to rise again due to the spread of the more-contagious B.A2 variant, but local officials have said there is not a cause for alarm and the numbers of people being hospitalized with and dying from COVID-19 remain low.

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