This story has been updated
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority reversed course Wednesday, saying masks are in fact still required at its local airports, buses, metro rails and other services.
The development came one day after the NFTA said it was lifting mask requirements at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Niagara Falls International Airport and at NFTA Metro Bus and Rail locations.
“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,” the NFTA said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
The announcement from Governor Kathy Hochul came late Wednesday morning during a COVID briefing in Syracuse. Hochul said masks would still be required in airports and on public transportation.
“This is a temporary measure,” Hochul told reporters. “I know it will be. But just for the time being, we wanted to make sure that everybody understand the New York State Department of Health guidelines related to where masks still need to be worn are still in effect.”
Earlier this week, the CDC said due to a court ruling, it would no longer be enforcing its order requiring masks on public transportation and in transportation hubs.
The Transportation Security Administration also announced it would no longer be enforcing mask policies.
“TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs,” the TSA said. “TSA will also rescind the new Security Directives that were scheduled to take effect tomorrow. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.”
Those rulings from the federal agencies are what prompted the NFTA to initially lift its mask requirement at its airports and on its services Tuesday.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, the NFTA said it “will continue to follow the CDC recommendation that encourages people to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time and that everyone should be respectful of those who choose to wear a face covering for their personal safety.”
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