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As of Feb. 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began enforcing an executive order from the Biden administration requiring masks to be worn on all forms of public transportation and in airports. The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) has now announced that travelers who violate the mask mandate, which is considered a security directive, could be fined $250 for the first offense and up to $1,500 for repeat offenses. According to the tsa.gov, “TSA has provided transportation system operators specific guidance on how to report violations so that TSA may issue penalties to those who refuse to wear a face mask.”

The mask requirement is in effect until May 11, 2021 and requires individuals over the age of 2 (or who have other exemptions such as those with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and those for whom a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations) to properly wear a mask throughout commercial and public transportation systems, which includes the nation’s domestic network of airports and the TSA security checkpoints within them.

According to the CDC, a mask is considered to be properly worn when it covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly on your face with no gaps.

“TSA will fully comply with the President’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance and the DHS National Emergency determination to ensure healthy and secure travel across all transportation sectors. This will help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and encourage a unified government response,” said Darby LaJoye, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator. “As we continue to experience impacts from this pandemic, we are committed to this measure as the right thing to do for the TSA workforce, for our industry stakeholders and for passengers.”

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