On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that people who are not wearing masks in public transportation systems can possibly face fines worth up to $1,500 or even higher.
Earlier this week, in an effort to comply with President Joe Biden’s executive order, the TSA had started requiring people to wear masks in all TSA checkpoints and public transport systems. The mask mandate is also a federal requirement enforced by the CDC.
On Friday, TSA revealed that people who break this mandate will be fined $250 for the first offense. On the other hand, those who repeatedly break this rule may have to pay a fine worth up to $1,500. Those who go against the mask mandate with “substantial aggravating or mitigating factors” may have to pay an even bigger fine.
With this, a spokesperson for the TSA said that civil penalties can apply to people in public transportation systems and terminals, including airports, bus stations, and train stations.
The agency also revealed that it has provided specific guidance on reporting violations to operators of the public transportation system. This makes it possible for the TSA to issue the penalties to anyone who goes against the mask mandate.
Wearing of Masks Enforced by Airlines Even Before Federal Mandate
Even before the mask mandate, many airline companies have already been requiring passengers to wear masks. Collectively, the airlines in the country have banned 2,000 travelers in the country after they refused to wear a facemask. Unions of flight attendants, prior to the executive order, said a federal policy could make it easier for flight crews to enforce the wearing of masks.
The CDC’s mask mandate exempts children who are younger than 2 years old. It also exempts people with specific disabilities that would make mask-wearing risky. However, airlines had trouble with this rule exemption, so they stopped allowing it. The CDC then said that operators can require medical documentation if they were doubtful regarding this exemption rule.