The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it had been extended until 13 September to require the use of masks in transportation, including airports, commercial airplanes, and buses and trains.
TSA officials said the expansion of the mask requirement is in line with the updated policies of the Center for Disease Control. The TSA requirement expired on 11 May.
“Federal requirement for masks in the transportation system to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in public transport”Derby Lajoye, a senior TSA official, said in a statement. “About half of adults have been vaccinated at least once and masks are an important tool in defeating this epidemic.”
Children under the age of 2 and some disabled people are exempted from the need for masks, But others may face penalties if they refuse to comply. According to TSA rules, Penalties for noncompliance start at $ 250 and increase to $ 1,500 for repeat offenders.
The Trump administration in October declined calls with the Department of Transportation to put masks on planes, stating that “there should be no more regulations than necessary.” But some passengers refused to comply with mandatory usage rules issued by airlines, sometimes responding to ridicule or hostility with flight attendants, to help them with enforcement in a highly politicized area of federal. Support was required.
President Biden issued a federal mandate to wear masks in his first full day of transportation in office. The TSA’s action on Friday extends the security directives imposed to implement the mask mandate in transportation, which took effect from 1 February..
“We have put a lot of effort to control the epidemic, but we have not reached that point yet,” said Sarah Nelson, international chairwoman of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. “Continuing with TSA enforcement directive for mask mandate will keep passengers and aviation workers safe.”
According to order, lPeople must wear masks “when one provides transportation to or from the United States,” as well as “traveling, vacationing, and traveling by any means of transportation” or “in the United States” . “
The order states that operators “must make every effort” to guarantee the use of the mask, “excluding, at the first opportunity, anyone who refuses to comply.” It states that compliance will be regulated by the TSA and “other federal authorities and may be implemented in cooperation with state and local authorities.”
The CDC updated its mask guidelines this week, saying that fully vaccinated people are not required to wear them outside unless they are in crowded places. The TSA requirement, released on Friday, applies to both passengers and transportation staff, “including those who have already been vaccinated.”
“We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the need for these directives,” said Ljoy.
The mandate for transporting the CDC mask, which originally set the requirement, does not include the end date, and the TSA may further extend the transport enforcement directives. The mandate will remain in effect “unless amended or redistributed based on specific public health or other considerations,” or when the Secretary of Health and Human Services considers that a public health emergency no longer exists, the CDC order. According to.
The federal mask mandate comes into force in three months.
The Department of Transportation has cited CDC guidance to answer questions from workers and others affected by the mandate. Authorities responded to questions: “What should transportation agencies do when drivers with glasses report that they have difficulty wearing masks because their glasses fit above?” The department noted that the CDC recommends wearing a mask that “sniffs above the nose or has a nasal coil to help reduce fogging,” or is trying anti-fog spray on glasses. And he said transport agencies should “work with drivers on mask fitting” to reduce fogging.
“In some circumstances, when this issue cannot be resolved, the CDC order provides an exemption to ensure workplace safety and safe operation of the transit vehicle,” the department said.