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HART, Uber and Lyft make masks optional

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – There are more changes in the way we travel after a ruling by a federal judge in Tampa ended the requirement to mask up on public transit.

The Transportation Security Administration is not enforcing required masking for travelers at airports throughout the country and major U.S. airlines followed suit in dropping mask requirements. On Wednesday morning, so did the ride share apps Uber and Lyft.

“I feel like it’s a way off my shoulders,” said Aaniyah Mitchell, who rides the HART bus to work daily. “Nobody wants to have a mask on all the time. Half the time you can’t breathe.”

HART said it’ll no longer no longer require masks on buses, vans, and the TECO line streetcar. Disney World is also making masks optional. These changes come as some parts of the country are seeing a rise in covid cases.

“We’ve reached a point now with the pandemic is really starting I believe is turning into an endemic stage,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, PhD, USF College of Public Health Professor.

Unnasch said he’s surprised the mask mandate wasn’t dropped two weeks ago.

“We’re reaching a point where I think we really need to start how to live with this thing,” he said. “That’s going to mean I think a lot more putting responsibility on individuals personally.”

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