TSA Extends Mask Mandate Into September

By Kurt Stolz on 30 April 2021
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An American Airlines Boeing 737-800 taking off

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said it had extended President Biden’s face mask mandate to September 13.

President Joseph Biden announced the nation-wide mandate, which covers on all forms of public transportation including commercial aircraft and trains as well as airports, bus terminals, and train terminals shortly after taking office.  The requirement went into effect on February 1, 2021 and was originally set to expire on May 11.

Noting that the mask requirement seeks to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Darby LaJoye, the acting TSA Administrator, noted that, with half of the U.S. population having had at least one vaccination,

“The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” said Darby LaJoye, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator. “Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far.”

Enforcement responsibility for the mask mandate was given to the TSA in early February.  Individuals can be fined up to $1,500 for violations of the rule.

Travelers are required to don masks that conform to the requirements set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  These rules require a mask that fits over the nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides without a gap.  That mask cannot have any slits or exhalation valves.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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