TSA Doubles Fines on Travellers Who Refuse to Mask

(10 Sep 2021)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on Thursday
that it will increase the range of civil penalties that can be
imposed on individuals who violate the federal mask mandate at
airports, on commercial aircraft, and in various modes of surface
transportation, including passenger railroads, intercity bus
services, and other public transportation.

The federal mask mandate for transportation, which
was implemented by the TSA on 2 February 2021, will remain in effect
until 18 January 2022.

“Wearing a mask protects the traveling public and all of the
personnel who make the travel experience safe, secure, and
comfortable,” said Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We will continue to enforce the mask mandate as long as
necessary to protect public health and safety.”

The new range of penalties, which
came into effect today, 10 September 2021, will be $500-$1000 for
first offenders and $1000-$3000 for second offenders.

“We
appreciate the majority of travelers each day who voluntarily
follow the requirement, but find this action necessary to maximize
the protections for those who use and work within the
transportation system, and to contain COVID19,” said TSA
Administrator David Pekoske. “By doubling the range of penalties,
we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence.”

The federal mask mandate-related civil penalties are separate
from the civil penalties the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
issues for individuals who engage in unruly and unsafe behavior.

“If you break the rules, be prepared to pay,” said
President Biden on Thursday.
“And by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on
television towards flight attendants and others doing their job is
wrong, it’s ugly.”

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