On Wednesday The Muslim Travel Ban Will End And Masks Will Become A Federal Mandate For Travel

According to a memo that incoming President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff is circulating, Biden intends to take several actions on his first day in office including a federal mask-wearing requirement for interstate transportation and repealing President Trump’s Muslim ban.

On his first day in office alone, Mr. Biden intends a flurry of executive orders that will be partly substantive and partly symbolic. They include rescinding the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, rejoining the Paris climate change accord, extending pandemic-related limits on evictions and student loan payments, issuing a mask mandate for federal property and interstate travel and ordering agencies to figure out how to reunite children separated from families after crossing the border..

The mask rule will simply require something that is… already required. It isn’t clear whether any changes to airline mask rules will follow as a result of specific language in the new President’s order. For instance United, American and Southwest require masks on everyone two years old and older, and do not permit medical exemptions, while Delta entertains exemptions for young children and for medical reasons. Aside from these edge conformity cases the move is almost entirely symbolic.

Reversing the Muslim ban means rescinding Executive Order 13780 which prohibits entry into the U.S. by North Koreans and Syrians; Iranians except those on student or exchange visitor visas; most Libyans and Yemenis; by nationals of Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Somalia who intend to enter on immigrant visas; and by Sudanese and Tanzanians on diversity visas. The original version of the rule, Executive Order 13769, blocked entry from Iran; Iraq; Libya; Somalia; Sudan; Syria; and Yemen. It is not clear whether any portion of the current rule will remain in place as a result of President Biden’s intended action on his first day in office.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Muslim ban is false. It also bans North Korea and Myanmar, which are not Muslim. Furthermore, there are non-Muslims in Iran. But Trump’s geography might not be too good or maybe reporters not too good, so it is called a Muslim ban.

  2. @derek

    These other “shithole” countries were added on the second try to mask the original Muslim ban and have it pass the judicial review!

  3. There are 50+ Muslim majority countries. The so called “Muslim ban” applied to seven of them along with other non-Muslim countries.

  4. Instead of an outright ban, now these people must show a negative COVID test. How easy is that to obtain in e.g.Iran?

  5. I don’t have any issue allowing unknown people from failed states with a history of violence against American traveling to the US while chanting death to America, do you? What could possibly go wrong?

  6. @ Jon Ben
    Yes shawarma can be delivered, but it can get messy so you may want to take your white bedsheets off to eat it.

  7. @ Rjb

    I don’t have any issue allowing white supremacists from failed US states with a history of violence against fellow Americans traveling to the US Capitol while chanting death to fellow Americas, do you? What could possibly go wrong?

  8. Calling it a Muslim ban is dishonest. The vast majority of Muslims in the world (88%) were not affected by the ban. And there are other religious groups in those countries also affected by the ban. The countries on the list have unstable/unfriendly governments with an increased risk letting terrorists into our country.

  9. Fifteen years from now a college student will be watching a flight attendant scream at an overwhelmed mom because her toddler’s mask isn’t up over his nose while wondering what “Covid-19” was. Federal mandates live forever.

  10. If you had put “Muslim Travel Ban” inside quotes you could ha e achieved the same provocative effect you were seeking in a manner that adheres to basic journalistic ethics.

  11. @Matt

    Some of us “MAGA” fans have so much money, we really don’t care what you plebes suffer. We do what we want, and don’t care about “diversity”, “pronouns”; Going Green”; “$15 minimum wage”.

    Go eat a Big Mac with a terrorist and wear your matching mask and diaper.

  12. What a shame… notice how there has been little radical moslem terrorism last 4 years ( in USA ) ? I wonder why… notice how there has been many people murdered by radical islamic terrorism in places like France and UK. London especially bad, after all the Mayor is a radical moslem itself…. stand by America, even though you didn’t vote for this, Harris LOL ( well-known Communist ) and Biden ( where am I? ) this is the great reset, control, control, control. As the great President Reagan once said, the scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”. What a shame for the USA. All we can do is hope those crazy maniacs from CA and NY try to secede and then the rest of us can get on with our lives, working hard, looking after ourselves, choosing where our children can go to school, and with this radical Socialist/Communist Harris/Biden/Obama/Clinton regime out of our living rooms. ( And if you think the first Black President and his boyfriend wife are not involved you are kidding yourself CA and NY ). In it up to their smelly asses.

  13. Doesn’t seem symbolic. Seems like it would be required by federal law and hopefully there would be real penalties for failure to comply. Right now people argue because they feel entitled to argue with the airline. If the airline has no choice and they know that then why would they force the FAs to argue with them. People wear their seatbelts they can wear the mask. I’m sure some covidiots are going to want to push the limits and test this and hopefully we can see some serious consequences to send a message. If you don’t want to wear a mask then don’t fly. We keep setting record number of covid deaths. It’s time the covidiots get smacked down to reality. We have wasted too much time pandering to these people who simply refuse to get educated and don’t give a crap about endangering the health of others, especially now that we have a hyper contagious variant in the country.

  14. @Doug No. This isn’t remotely logical. Nobody enjoys wearing a mask on a plane. As soon as its safe to do so they are going to remove the requirement because there is no point in everyone being miserable wearing a mask if there is no reason.

  15. robbo, the KKK been calling you to enlist after seeing your bigoted diatribes? Your words sound like those coming out of the mouths and keyboards of such deplorable bigots.

    You know what they say about birds of a feather flocking together? The flock of your Lord Trump’s “there are good people on both sides” can be found at your nearest KKKlan rally.

  16. Elections have consequences? Unless there’s an EO to shrink my penis, I couldn’t care less.

  17. To all those detractors, get this!

    According to the DHS, the FBI, and the GOP dominated Senate, white supremacists and other far-right-wing extremists are the most significant domestic terrorism threat facing the United States.

  18. GUWonder, ah more of the biggest dishonesty/lie of Trump’s presidency in the”good people on both sides” reference.

    If you actually looked up the full quote where he explicitly and immediately clarifies he’s “not talking about the neo nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned fully,” you’d see how dishonest, nonsensical, and vile your post is.

  19. @Colin – right, there were so many other tiki torch-carrying non-white supremacists in that group totally not chanting “blood and soil / Jews will not replace us”. Great defense of the indefensible.

  20. And Biden is already trying to make the US into California, When will you folks learn CA is a failed state and a disease that keeps spreading?

    I’ve never seen so many folks happy to be told what to do, let alone restate mantras that are outright lies and propaganda.

    When a society’s laws is based on lowest common denominator’s votes, that society is effectively a third world country.

  21. Biden has been a failure in politics for 47 years.
    The softies are clinging to his coattails.

  22. Jeez. The comments section of View from the Wing is the Spirit Airlines of the travel blog world.

  23. “Calling it a Muslim ban is dishonest. The vast majority of Muslims in the world (88%) were not affected by the ban.”

    AFAIK, someone’s religion was never a criteria in the ban. Having known several Muslims and travelled through much of the Middle East, Northern Africa, Philippines and Indonesia and with my son having Muslim second cousins I would never have problems with Muslims entering the country per se. But a travel ban from certain counties may be prudent. There is no Covid 19-like test to take within three days before arrival to screen out those infected with radical or hostile beliefs coming in from problematic countries.

  24. I was worried life would be less entertaining without Trump as president, but these comments are proving me wrong! Here’s to 2021!

  25. Even though I have been top tier on AA for 18 straight years. I have not flown since March 2, 2020 because I don’t want the hassle of the mask from the time I enter the airport till I leave at my destination. I don’t want to put up with the over zealous flight attendants and the self empowered mask police who have nothing better to do than watch their fellow passengers to be ready to pounce if they deem someone is taking too much time to take a drink or eat. At least when it was an airline mandate the airline has an incentive to remove the mandate as soon as possible unlike the Federal government which can keep extending and extending the removal date. The airlines now have a scapegoat to blame. Given the fact the Democrats think it is their duty to make every decision in DC for people and given it has become apparent over 50% of the American public is quite fine with the government making every decision for them, air travel will be even more miserable than it was forever. Enjoy the next 4 years of nanny state.

  26. Colin,

    You’re calling out my comment as vile speaks to your base hypocrisy given your multi-years long backing of Trump, the most vile person to be US President in our lifetime; and your silence and deflection when it came to so many of Trump’s vile comments, lies and crazy actions.

    Trump called his first travel ban a “Muslim ban”. It was intended to be just that and play to the Islamophobic nuts he had been courting for years. That a ban is anything but wholly comprehensive doesn’t obviate the ban being a ban and rooted in Islamophobia.

  27. @Michael Vaughan: Mate, I could not have put it better myself, sums it up beautifully. The only part I am dubious about is the 4 years. If the people don’t rise up and #BringBackTrump, we could have this for a generation.

  28. “bring back Trump”? The bad loser is at risk of getting prosecuted and convicted and/or ending up insolvent.

    Or is “bring back Trump” a call to bring back Trump to the US after he tries to abscond by seeking exile abroad as a fugitive from justice within the US?

    Either way, he’s the worst loser.

  29. With the US leading the world in Covid deaths and cases, along with the current political unrest, potential terrorists and evildoers don’t need to fly here to destroy America since we are doing it on our own.

  30. We ordered concrete for a project on our acreage this fall. We have a wooden beam bridge crossing our creek heading to the site. The driver called me asking for a jump start as his 60,000 lb cement truck stalled right on the bridge. So I drove down there with my 3000 lb Ford Ranger farm truck to give him a jump start, as soon as I drove up on the bridge the whole thing collapsed. My insurance company won’t pay for damages because they they stated cause of death, I mean cause of collapse was due to the Ford Ranger driving on the bridge.

  31. What Muslim ban? I am a Muslim and been travelling in and out of US by myself and my family without ever been questioned for the last 5 years.

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