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NFTA reverses decision, masks still required following announcement from Gov. Hochul

Posted at 10:02 AM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 12:50:27-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced Tuesday it was lifting the mask requirement on its bus and rail as well as at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport but it has now reversed that decision following an announcement from New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

Hochul announced Wednesday that masks are still required on public transit, in airports and in certain other settings in New York State despite a decision from a federal judge in Florida that voided the national mask mandate covering airplanes and other public transportation on Monday.

The governor addressed the judge's decision and said "Monday there was a legal ruling at the federal level, this was not a decision by the federal government that masks were no longer needed in very congested settings."

The NFTA released an updated statement Wednesday after it reversed its decision:

First and foremost, we want to apologize for what is sure to be confusing to our travelers and riders, but due to the Governor's announcement updating COVID regulations from the New York State Department of Health, masks will still be required in all public transportation entities within the State of New York until further notice. This includes the Buffalo Niagara International and Niagara Falls International Airports, Metro Bus and Rail and all Paratransit services. We will provide any updates or changes to this policy accordingly.
- NFTA statement

According to Hochul, masks will be required in the following settings in New York State:

  • State-regulated health care settings
  • State-regulated adult care facilities and nursing homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Buses and bus stations, trains and train stations, subways and subway stations, and airports

According to a report from the Associated Press Tuesday, the federal government will only appeal the judge’s ruling if the CDC believes the mask requirement is still necessary.