TSA extends face mask requirements through Sept. 13


FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, a passenger wears a face mask she travels after take off from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. A new study says leaving middle seats open could reduce the risk of airline passengers contracting the virus that causes COVID-19. The study was published Wednesday, April 14, 2021 by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kansas State University. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

WASHINGTON (WFXR) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States through September 13.

The face mask requirement will be in effect at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and commuter bus and rail systems.

“The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation. 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.”

Darby LaJoye, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator

TSA’s face mask requirement went into effect on Feb. 1 and was originally slated to end on May 11.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced fully vaccinated travelers can travel safely within the U.S. However, CDC guidelines still require people to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

TSA says the extension of the face mask requirement is consistent with most recent CDC guidance.

All other aspects of the face mask requirement remain unchanged. Travelers 2 years old and younger and individuals with certain disabilities can be exempted from the face mask requirement. Those who violate the face mask requirement could face fines, starting at $250.

Travelers who have not flown since last year may notice various changes already implemented at airport screening checkpoints nationwide. At TSA checkpoints, travelers will continue to see all security screening officers wearing face masks and gloves. Acrylic barriers will remain in place at most airports.

TSA encourages all commuters, and airline and bus travelers, including people considering international travel, to stay up to date with any changes to these requirements by checking the TSA and CDC websites before taking their trip.

For additional information about TSA procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit tsa.gov/coronavirus.

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