PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland International Airport (PDX) will no longer be enforcing a federal mask requirement after a ruling in Florida that struck down the Biden administration rule for public transportation.
"Local TSA just advised us they will no longer be enforcing the directive that requires masking in the airport," the Port of Portland said in a brief statement on Monday. "To that end, people in the airport are not required to wear a face covering.
"We recognize that travelers and airport employees will have mixed feelings about this sudden change. We ask that people be kind and respectful of a person’s individual decision to wear a mask or not."
The decision Monday by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking.
The judge said “a limited remedy would be no remedy at all” and that the courts have full authority to make a decision such as this — even if the goals of the CDC in fighting the virus are laudable.
“Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate,” she wrote.
Trimet announced on Tuesday morning that it would switch to a masks-optional rule on its buses and trains, although the agency said it might take a few days to fully update all the signs and announcements on Trimet vehicles. The rule change applies to the Portland Streetcar as well.
In Washington state, C-TRAN announced on Tuesday that masks are optional for passengers and employees, effective immediately. In a tweet, C-TRAN said "we strongly encourage individuals to make the best decision that supports their well-being and personal needs."