AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Bergstrom International Airport announced Monday night masks are no longer mandatory for travelers at its facility.

“Following today’s federal court ruling & the decision by @TSA to rescind the mask Security Directives, masks are no longer mandatory at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport,” the airport wrote on Twitter at 8:20 p.m.

Officials with CapMetro, the public transport service in Austin, also said Monday night it would no longer require its riders to wear masks.

This comes after a federal judge in Florida voided the national mask mandate that applies to airplanes, airports and other forms of public transportation earlier on Monday, which goes against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision last week to extend the mask mandate until May 3.

KXAN reached out to airport officials earlier in the day before AUS’ official announcement to learn if passengers will still be expected to don a face covering while traveling.

An AUS spokesperson responded around 5 p.m. on Monday:

“AUS is aware of today’s federal court ruling and awaits further direction and guidance from the federal government regarding enforcement and will communicate any impacts to passengers and staff accordingly. In accordance with public health advice issued by Austin Public Health, AUS continues to encourage travelers to wear masks. Travelers flying this evening should connect directly with their airline for more information about airline mask policies on aircraft.”

When asked whether the mandate would be enforced or if passengers would only be encouraged to wear masks, the airport recommended we reach out to the Transportation Security Administration.

While a TSA spokesperson told KXAN through email it was still waiting for legal guidance, an administration official told Nexstar’s NewsNation the agency would no longer enforce the travel mask mandate.

“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”


KXAN spoke to passengers at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport about the mask mandate.

“It doesn’t have to be going on anymore, most of us aren’t even wearing them around our homes or shopping or anything where we live,” passenger Gloria Wein said. “I don’t see why the airport has to have it. I really don’t. I don’t know what they are justifying it with.” 

“It is still out there, and we need to protect ourselves. I’m a pharmacist, I see it every day still, still getting cases,” passenger Tracy Brian said.

Dallas Love Field Airport will keep its mandate in place for now, unless told otherwise by the CDC and TSA, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“Until we receive a different directive from the CDC and TSA, Dallas Love Field will continue to require masks in the airport and on aircraft,” a Dallas Love Field spokesperson told the news outlet said.

In late March, lobbying group Airlines for America sent a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to lift pre-departure testing requirements for travel and the federal mask mandate, which it said “are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment.”

The CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines Holdings, among other transportation groups, signed the letter.