The Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Coast Guard, reversing their position from less than a month ago, said the federal agencies will no longer enforce its rule for wearing a mask in “outdoor areas of transportation conveyances or while outdoors at transportation hubs.”
That means commercial vessels like cruise ships, ferries, fishing boats, and charters won’t require passengers to mask up for those who are outdoors. And people don’t have to wear masks at “transportation conveyances,” such as train stations.
Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MISB) 02-21 Change 2 reflects updated enforcement policy.
To be clear, the rule still exists, but the agencies will not enforce it.
“Relatedly, CDC announced that, until it can amend the Order, it will exercise its enforcement discretion to not require wearing a mask in outdoor areas of transportation conveyances or while outdoors at transportation hubs,” the CDC wrote.
Earlier this year at a fishing conference, Sen. Dan Sullivan called the fishing crew mask rule “stupid.”
“Now we have another stupid regulation that our fishermen need to wear masks. Senator Murkowski and I have been pressing this relentlessly on a call with the Coast Guard commandant, a call with the White House guy who’s supposedly in charge of all the CDC issues, we had a meeting with the head of the CDC, we are trying to explain to them how, no offense, but just how stupid this is and how uninformed it is. And it could be a safety issue, not with regard to COVID, but with having to wear masks when you’re out on the deck of a ship in 30 foot waves trying to bring in gear or pots. So, we’re going to continue to work on that one,” Sullivan said.