Senator Rick Scott pushes to drop federal mask requirement for public transportation

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FIRST ON FOX: Republican Senator Rick Scott is expected to introduce a bill that would ban the federal government from forcing individuals to wear masks on public transportation as cities and states begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Scott, R-Fla., In introducing the Stop Mandating Additional Requirements for Travel (SMART) Act, told Fox News he had “support for wearing a mask to protect yourself and others” since start of the pandemic, but that now “the science just does not support the continuation of this policy.”

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“Just as the federal government shouldn’t be on a mission to require Americans to hand in their immunization cards, it shouldn’t be forcing people to wear masks on public transportation,” Scott told Fox News.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May released new guidelines for masks and face coverings, saying fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors, or at a distance physically.

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The CDC, at the time, said that fully vaccinated people were always advised to wear masks when in crowded indoor environments, such as on public transport and in hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

The CDC has not issued updated guidelines on mask wearing on public transport at this point.

The councils, however, have raised questions about how individuals can prove that they are fully vaccinated and therefore not required to wear a mask.

Earlier this month, Scott also introduced the Freedom to Fly Act, which prohibits Transportation Security Administration officials from requiring Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The bill would also prohibit TSA workers from requiring U.S. travelers to produce passports for domestic flights in order to protect the privacy of personal health information.

The White House said last month that the federal government would not support a system forcing Americans to carry so-called “vaccine passports” while suggesting the matter would be left to the private sector amid new guidelines on masks.

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