US CDC says U.S. travelers can avoid wearing masks in outdoor transit hubs, ferries
Turkish president vows to save sea from 'sea snot' outbreak
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president promised Saturday to rescue the Marmara Sea from an outbreak of “sea snot” that is alarming marine biologists and environmentalists. A huge mass of marine mucilage, a thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms, has bloomed in Turkey's Marmara, as well as in the adjoining Black and Aegean Seas. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said untreated waste dumped into the Marmara Sea and climate change had caused the sea snot bloom. Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with some 16 million residents, factories and industrial hubs, borders the sea.
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday it will no longer require travelers to wear masks in outdoor transit hubs and in outdoor spaces on ferries, buses and trolleys, due to the lower risk of coronavirus transmission outdoors.
The change is the first in the CDC's transit mask policy announced in January and came after a lengthy review by the White House Office of Management and Budget's regulatory arm.
The CDC said it made the change "because of the lower risk of transmission outdoors ... Masks are still required indoors on all forms of transportation" regardless of vaccination status.
Schools forge ahead without CDC guidance, some leaning away from masks
With lower cases rates in communities and vaccines available for 12-17 year olds, schools are weighing the rules for fall. The result — a patchwork of different policies depending on what state Americans live in, or even down to which district their kids are enrolled in — comes on the heels of a chaotic school year that’s finally coming to a close. Parents and students are now eagerly looking to the fall as a time for more stability and, because of vaccines, a return to full-time, in-person school with far less rules.
The change means people can take masks off outdoors while waiting for a train, in an outdoor courtyard of an airport or in open-air transit modes.
The change came after the Biden administration held extensive discussions with transit unions and other groups. The administration is considering other modest changes to its indoor transit mask policies, including potentially allowing vaccinated airline workers to remove their masks in rooms not accessible to the public.
The CDC in May said fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places.
Why the mask culture wars may never end
“$5 added to orders placed while wearing a face mask,” reads a sign pasted on a window of the restaurant, located in the Northern California town of Mendocino. On the other side of the country, at the Middle Eastern restaurant Little Sesame in downtown Washington, D.C., there is also a sign greeting visitors. Culture wars have a funny way of sneaking up on America. Fiddleheads owner Chris Castleman told Yahoo News that a recent count of passersby yielded a 90 percent rate of masking outdoors. He estimates that about 1 out of 3 drivers he sees driving past his restaurant is still wearing a mask. “It’s a psychological thing,” Castleman said.
In April, the Biden administration extended face mask requirements across all U.S. transportation networks through Sept. 13 to address the spread of COVID-19.
The Federal Aviation Administration said this week it has received approximately 2,900 reports of unruly behavior by passengers since Jan. 1, including about 2,200 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal face mask mandate.
The CDC mask mandate issued in January requires masks in nearly all transportation modes, including on ride-share vehicles.
Many U.S. states have completely rescinded mask requirements and transit is the only remaining place where mask use is mandated.
President Joe Biden imposed the transit mask mandate after his predecessor, Donald Trump, rejected CDC recommendations to do so.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in WashingtonEditing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)
Juneteenth, recalling end of slavery, is marked across US .
Parades, picnics and lessons in history marked Juneteenth celebrations Saturday in the U.S., a day that carried even more significance after Congress and President Joe Biden created a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery. A new national holiday was “really awesome. It’s starting to recognize the African American experience,” said Detroit artist Hubert Massey, 63. “But we still have a long way to go.” In Detroit, which is 80% Black, students from University Prep Art & Design High School dodged rain to repaint Massey's block-long message, “Power to the People,” which was created last year on downtown Woodward Avenue.