TSA authorized to fine passengers who refuse to wear masks
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been authorized to fine passengers who fail to comply with the new mask requirements on public transportation systems.
The TSA will require travelers to wear masks through airport screening checkpoints and throughout all public transportation systems beginning Tuesday. TSA workers are authorized to deny entry or boarding to passengers who refuse to wear masks, and those passengers could be subject to fines.
“Depending on the circumstance, those who refuse a mask may be subject to a civil penalty for attempting to circumvent screening requirements, interfering with screening personnel, or a combination of those offenses,” TSA announced on Sunday.
The mask requirement, a result of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order requiring mask-wearing at transportation hubs, will remain effective until May 11.
It follows President Biden’s executive order Jan. 21 directing federal agencies to “immediately take action” to mandate the use of masks in airports, trains, intercity bus services and public maritime vessels such as ferries.
“This will help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and encourage a unified government response,” said Darby LaJoye, a TSA senior official, who is performing the duties of the TSA administrator. “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.”