US President Joe Biden Photograph:( AFP )
The CDC had said BA.2 Omicron subvariant was responsible for 86 per cent of coronavirus cases in the United States with the northeast area being the worst hit.
A US judge dismissed President Joe Biden's mask mandate meant for public transportation.
District judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle declared the mask mandate was unlawful while adding that it exceeds the statutory authority of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases, officials had extended the mask mandate by 15 days for public transport including in planes and taxis. However, a group called Health Freedom Defense Fund in July 2021 challenged the US government's move.
The CDC had issued an order in February for people to wear masks in interstate transportation as the US transport administration put out a security directive to enforce the order.
After the verdict was announced by the Florida court, United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Airlines reportedly dropped the mask guideline.
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The White House said the decision by the judge was "disappointing". White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: "The CDC continues recommending wearing a mask in public transit."
The United States has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases with BA.2 Omicron subvariant sweeping the country.
The CDC had said last week that BA.2 Omicron subvariant was responsible for 86 per cent of coronavirus cases in the United States with the northeast area being the worst hit.
Coronavirus cases have surged in the past month in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. The US had recorded 28,339 COVID-19 cases in the seven-day period till April 9.
(With inputs from Agencies)