New Yorkers report confusion and frustration over the Big Apple KEEPING mask orders

New Yorkers are reporting confusion and frustration over the city’s choice to leave its public transport mask orders in place despite a federal court axing them on Monday.

At the start of the week, a court in Florida ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for public transportation – which had recently been given a two-week extension – unlawful, a move that was met with jubilation by some, as videos of airline patrons taking off their masks mid-flight going viral on social media.

The Big Apple chose to keep their own local regulations in place, though creating an odd situation where the city has more strict rules than any of its surrounding areas.

New Yorkers tell that the decision to keep the masks in place is both confusing and frustrating, and point out that the city’s Covid rules have always felt inconsistent over the pandemic’s past two years.

The move comes as cases in the city continue a steady rise, but deaths remain low. Nationally, case figures have remained stagnant for over a month, while death figures have continued to plummet from their late-January peak.

Despite a recent federal court ruling, New Yorkers are still required to wear a mask on the subway and in the city’s two local airports. Some residents are expressing feelings of confusion and frustration about the current orders remaining despite them being lifted almost everywhere else in America. Pictured: New Yorkers mask up while on the subway

Kate Alexander is a Queens resident who regularly uses the subway and travels out of the three local airports in the city, LaGuardia and JFK, both in Queens, and Newark Liberty in neighboring New Jersey. She told that she was initially ok with the masks, but now people deserve to choose for themselves.

‘Initially I was fine with having to wear a mask on the subway and in the airport but I think it’s time to give people the choice, especially because the mandates aren’t consistent,’ she said.

‘I don’t have to wear a mask in the Uber to JFK, but I have to wear one in the airport and I can take it off again as soon as I get on the plane. No consistency.’

Under the current orders, airline passengers traveling out of LaGuardia or JFK have to mask in the airport, since it falls under NYC jurisdiction.

Once they are on the plane, though, they are technically under federal orders for which required masking is no longer a thing. 

This means that in an airport, a wider area where social distancing is not a particular challenge, masks are required, but on the crowded plane where people are sitting in tight quarters, the face coverings come off.

Those who use ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft are not required to mask either, but face-coverings are required to ride in a taxi. 

‘I think right now, is a good time to give people the choice about how they may want to protect themselves,’ Cedric Alam, a Newark resident who travels into Manhattan every other day and regularly flies out of JFK, told

‘If people think they should wear a mask, then they should go right ahead and wear one, while people who think they will be fine without one should have the freedom to travel bare faced.’

Alam explains that the inconsistency with the masks can be frustrating, since a trip from New Jersey to New York – a common trip for many in the tri-state area – requires a person to continuously put on and take-off their mask to abide by local regulations.

The virus is the same on both sides of the Hudson River, though.

‘Where I am the most frustrated with New York is the lack of consistency with the court order and the rest of the U.S.,’ he explained.

‘They say they believe in science, so can they please explain where the science is in the following: NJ transit to Penn station or a flight into JFK, mask off, then while at JFK, mask on, and as soon as you get on a plane or get to another airport outside of New York, it’s mask off again.

‘There is no consistency, no science, no making sense.’

He said that next time he plans to book a flight, he will consider booking out of Newark instead to avoid the frustrating rules.

Alexander laments the frustrating inconsistencies as well, and pointed out that the regulations in New York City differing from other surrounding areas has been an issue all throughout the pandemic.

‘Throughout the whole pandemic it’s been frustrating,’ she said.

‘At one point in Long Island, [which is just east of Queens], you could eat inside. But you couldn’t in Queens because it’s NYC. So we’ve been dealing with that across the board.’

The inconsistencies have some New Yorkers calling for the city to get with the rest of the country’s program.

‘New York needs to comply with the decision of the Federal court,’ Manny Alicandro, a Manhattanite who regularly uses to subway and travels out of both JFK and LaGaurdia, told

‘[They’re] silly and makes no sense… did you see the people on the planes cheering when it was announced that the mask mandate ended… never seen people so happy on an airplane.’

Americans seem to support the mask orders over all, though, at least according to a poll performed by the Morning Consult. It found that 59 percent of Americans, and 85 percent of Democrats – for which New York City is dominated by – support the federal mask mandate on public transportation. 

It is unlikely that they return, though. While the Department of Justice plans to appeal the court’s decision, it is likely that the current orders lapse before the issue is settled.

Jack Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, told TODAY this week that he does not think the masks will ever come back, either.

Despite orders being lifted, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday that it would continue to implement its ‘zero tolerance policy’ for banning passengers that are ‘unruly’ over Covid guidelines.

New York is currently experiencing an uptick in Covid cases, but its situation is still an overall positive.

The Big Apple has recorded a 65 percent increase in cases over the past two weeks, with daily figures jumping to 2,505 per day – still far below the peak over over 40,000 during the peak of the Omicron variant in early January.

The Empire state as a whole has recorded a 71 percent jump in daily infections over the last 14 days.

Nationwide, case figures have once again creeped over the 40,000 mark, with 40,918 daily cases being added to the ledger – the second highest mark since early March. 

Deaths continue to rampantly plummet, though, with 380 Americans dying from Covid daily – a 29 percent fall over the past week.