Following that federal judge's ruling on Monday that abruptly ended mask mandates on planes and public transit, BART reportedly told its police not to enforce mask-wearing on Tuesday. But now, they've issued a statement similar to the SFMTA's saying masks are still required, for now.
The official word from BART on Tuesday was, "BART officials are currently touching base with other transit agencies in the Bay Area and looking to see if there is any movement on the local, state, or federal, level about a mask mandate for transit. BART hasn't made an official or final determination if a mask mandate will continue on BART." Though the Chronicle reported, via an anonymous source connected to BART, that enforcement of the mask policy was ending — and ABC 7 reported the same.
Meanwhile, the SFMTA was taking a wait-and-see approach, and continuing to require masks on its trains and buses, saying Tuesday that the mandate will stay in place "as this issue makes its way through our legal process."
President Joe Biden made comments Tuesday basically saying it's now up to individuals to protect themselves, mask-wise, if they so choose. But then the Department of Justice put out a statement vaguely saying it would support the CDC and appeal the judge's ruling "subject to CDC's conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health."
Basically, the DoJ is saying, "Is this really worth our efforts if the mandate was going to expire May 3 anyway?"
BART updated its stance on Wednesday, April 20, saying, "Face masks are still required at BART while we review our options and wait to hear back from the state. We are seeking clarity from the state if there is a state level mask mandate for transit that we can use to continue requiring and enforcing a mask mandate. BART hasn't made an official or final determination if a mask mandate will continue on BART. Once we make an official determination, we will communicate it."
So! The masks may not be around much longer, but, for now, you still need to carry one if you're planning to use BART or Muni. But not AC Transit! The East Bay's transit agency announced late Tuesday that it was dropping its mask mandate and making masking mandatory as of midnight last night.
Update: As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, BART reversed itself and said masks were optional, following an announcement by the state Department of Public Health to that effect. Still, as the Chronicle reports, BART's board is pushing to reinstate the mandate, and will consider doing that at its April 28 meeting.
Also, Uber says you can ride in the front seat again, mask-free.
You can now ride without a mask and use the front seat if you need to. While mask usage is still recommended, we’ve updated our Covid Safety policies. Let’s move forward, safely together.— Uber (@Uber) April 19, 2022
For US riders only. pic.twitter.com/LgHYSsC4Bg