Mask Off: SEPTA, Amtrak No Longer Requiring Masks on Vehicles, in Stations

Travelers board an Amtrak train ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Ashley Adams

April 19, 2022

Both SEPTA and Amtrak are no longer requiring passengers and employees to wear face coverings after a federal judge threw out the CDC’s nationwide mandate.

Fourteen months after a nationwide mask mandate was issued for all public transportation, the face coverings can come off.

All SEPTA and Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks when riding transit vehicles or waiting in stations, but they are still recommended.

The decision to end COVID-19 mask requirements in the public transportation system came after a federal judge in Florida threw out the nationwide mandate, saying the CDC did not have the authority to enforce such a regulation. The ruling left transit authorities and transportation hubs to set their own mask-wearing guidelines.

The Biden administration is reviewing the court’s ruling and assessing whether to appeal the decision.

Just last week, the CDC extended the federal mask requirement for public transportation through the beginning of May. 

SEPTA and Amtrak employees working inside offices, districts, and shops within Philadelphia were still required to wear face coverings due to the city’s recently reinstated indoor mask mandate.

Masks have been mandatory on all public transportation, including airplanes, trains, and buses since January 2021. SEPTA implemented its own mask mandate for riders and employees in June 2020. Amtrak’s took effect in May 2020.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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