A federal judge in Florida, the United States has struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for airplanes and other forms of public transit, calling it unlawful.

Judge Kathryn Mizelle said the national public health agency had exceeded its legal powers in issuing the mandate, a week after The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the mandate until May 3, 2022.

The U.S transit authority said it would now no longer enforce mask wearing.

Judge Mizelle is based in Florida, but federal judges can issue rulings that block nationwide government policies.

Her order on Monday effectively removes the masking requirement in all airports, trains, taxis and transit hubs.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the decision “disappointing” and noted that the CDC still recommends travellers cover their mouths and noses.