The Transportation Security Administration will start enacting a mask mandate starting Tuesday. This requires people to wear masks at checkpoints and while traveling. This comes as the TSA aims to “fully comply” with the order from President Joe Biden.
The mask mandate will be enforced on all modes of transportation handled by the TSA. The coverage of the mandate includes airports, as well as bus terminals and train terminals and stations.. It will also be enacted while passengers are riding planes, buses, trains, and other modes of public transportation. This directive will start on Tuesday, Feb. 2, and it will last until May 11.
On Jan. 22, the president approved an executive order that mandates the mask-wearing requirement on planes and other types of public transportation. Since Biden signed the executive order, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have required passengers to wear face masks. This includes ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.
This executive order helps the efforts of US airlines and Amtrack on enforcing a requirement for passengers to wear masks. They put it in place in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19. It comes after cases of the said disease spiked during the holiday. Also, the death toll in the country passed the 400,000 mark, as per the CDC.
The TSA mandate comes to help make sure ”healthy and secure travel across all transportation sectors” is in place. This is according to Darby LaJoye from the TSA.
In line with this rule, the TSA has the power to deny the entry, boarding, or transport, of anyone who does not wear a mask. Failure to comply with this rule is also grounds for civil penalties.
Airlines — particularly those that have a face mask rule even prior to having this directive in place — have already denied 25,000 passengers for not wearing masks. As of last month, both Delta Airlines and United Airlines have collectively banned around 1,500.
As per the TSA, passengers 2 years old and younger are exempted from this rule.