TSA extends face mask requirement in airports, onboard planes until September

Initially, the face mask requirement was supposed to expire May 11

(Joe Raedle, 2021 Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – TSA’s face mask requirement has been extended four more months to continue minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

The initial face mask mandate went into effect on Feb. 1 across all transportation networks throughout the United States, including airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses and on commuter bus and rail systems.

While the requirement was initially supposed to expire May 11, TSA officials switched the date to Sept. 13.

“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. “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.”

LaJoye said that although half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot, masks remain an important tool in defeating the pandemic.

On April 2, CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can travel safely within the U.S., but guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

Officials said existing COVID-19 guidelines across all transportation networks remain the same. And those who violate the face mask requirement may be fined as low as $250 and as high as $1,500.

To learn more about TSA’s coronavirus guidelines, click here.

About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.