Flying Out Of Illinois? Here’s What You Need To Know About Masking
The answer to the question "So, are we done with masks?" depends on what you might have in mind. Illinois' mask mandate is gone (with scattered exceptions), but traveling, and how you plan to travel, is a different story.
Virtually all states and major cities have, or are in the process of, rolling back those mandates--but the CDC and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have different ideas about that.
Even Though The CDC Said That More Than 98% Of Americans Can Drop The Masks, They Apparently Didn't Mean Travelers
So, if you've got a Spring Break trip planned over the next month to someplace in America that's sunny, warm, and well-supplied with beaches...you're gonna need that mask (or mask collection, since many of us have acquired one).
Going with a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the extension of its mask requirement on public transportation for one month, through April 18th.
Under the mandate, face coverings will continue to be required on buses, trains and airplanes as well as at transportation facilities. The TSA says that they'll review this policy next month, so there's no guarantee that the mandate will be lifted at that time.
Okay, We've Covered Planes, Trains, And Automobiles (Buses, anyway), What About Cruise Ships?
Once again, you'll get different answers depending on which cruise line you choose. ThePointsGuy.com has a list of nearly every cruise line's policies about masks and vaccinations, so I thought I'd share what they have to say about three of the biggest cruise lines.
Carnival: As of March 1, 2022, Carnival no longer requires masks on its ships, except in select areas. Passengers must wear masks during the entire embarkation and debarkation process, while indoors during any Carnival-approved shore excursions and while on any transportation vehicles, including tenders. Masks may also be required when ashore, per local guidelines.
Disney: For sailings beginning March 11, 2022, face coverings on Disney Cruise Line will become optional in most indoor locations throughout the line’s ships. Guests ages 2 and up, including those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will still be required to wear face coverings in the Walt Disney Theatre. Also, guests younger than 5 who are currently ineligible to be vaccinated must wear face coverings in Youth Activities spaces and in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Royal Caribbean: On Feb. 15, 2022, Royal Caribbean dropped its mask mandate for vaccinated passengers. Unvaccinated children older than 2 must wear masks in all indoor areas. The line has also done away with is separate areas for vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers.