Not wanting to mask up for your next flight? You are now subject to a civil penalty for failing to do so. After just one day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating that individuals wear masks on all forms of public transportation. This includes trains, ferries, intercity bus lines, and commercial aircraft. As a result of this new order, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been asked to fine passengers who do not follow these rules.
Details of New Mandate
The mandate went into effect on Tuesday, February 2. This requirement will be in effect until May 11, 2021. It should be noted that the president may decide to extend this mandate if needed.
In addition to being subject to fines if the rules are not followed, the TSA has been authorized to deny entry or boarding to passengers that refuse to wear a mask.
The TSA released a public statement confirming that they will uphold the details of the president’s executive order. The statement also issued guidance on how the mask should fit, instructing that it should cover the nose and the mouth while fitting snugly around the face with no gaps. The TSA pointed out that face shields or goggles are not acceptable alternatives for a standard face mask.
The statement said that travelers may be asked to temporarily lower the facial covering in order to confirm identity.
The authorities also said that those individuals who refuse to comply with the guidelines may be subject to a civil penalty. However, the details of the fine procedure were not released.