Travel News: TSA Mandate Includes All Transportation
Even with millions of Americans fully or partially vaccinated, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is requiring all flyers to continue to wear masks for travel on airplanes into September.
The mandate now goes thru Monday, Sept. 13, the weekend after Labor Day Weekend. It includes not only all commercial aircraft but also airports, commuter buses and rail systems. It was set to expire on May 11 before the extension.
“The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” Darby LaJoye, the senior official performing the duties of the TSA administrator, explained in a statement. “About half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic.”
Specifically, travelers are required to wear masks “while boarding, disembarking, and traveling on any conveyance into or within the United States,: as well as “at any transportation hub that provides transportation within the United States,” according to the TSA’s statement.
Operators “must use best efforts” to ensure masks are worn, including “at the earliest opportunity, disembarking any person who refuses to comply.” Enforcement will be handled by the TSA and “by other federal authorities and may be enforced by cooperating state and local authorities.”
Children under 2 and those with certain disabilities are exempt from the mask requirement. Penalties for noncompliance start at $250 and increase to $1,500 for those who have been cited more than once.