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TSA to fine mask violators up to $1,500

TSA to fine mask violators up to $1,500
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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recommended a fine of $250, increasing to up to $1,500, for repeated violations of its recently released federal transportation face mask requirement.

"Based on substantial aggravating or mitigating factors, TSA may seek a sanction amount that falls outside these ranges," the agency wrote in a Friday update.

On Sunday, TSA was authorized to fine passengers who fail to comply with the new mask requirements on public transportation systems.

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“This will help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and encourage a unified government response,” Darby LaJoye, a senior TSA official who is performing the duties of the agency head, said at the time. “As we continue to experience impacts from this pandemic, we are committed to this measure as the right thing to do for the TSA workforce, for our industry stakeholders and for passengers.”

President Biden enacted an executive order on Jan. 21 requiring federal agencies to take immediate action making masks mandatory on public transportation, after which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance requiring face masks to be worn while travelers are at transportation hubs and conveyances.

The new requirements ask that travelers taking any public transportation keep their face coverings on while going through airport checkpoints, bus and rail stations, and while traveling on passenger aircraft, public transportation, passenger railroads and buses. The rules extend through May.

In addition to the penalties recommended by TSA, public transportation operators may also impose their own, according to CNN.