The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending the face mask requirement at airports and on board commercial aircraft through September 13. TSA’s mask mandate initially went into effect on February 1 and was scheduled to expire on May 11.
The federal mask requirement is intended to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through public transportation. TSA will continue to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the continued need for travelers to wear face masks.
The CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated passengers can travel safely within the U.S. but still recommends that individuals wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often. The extension of the face mask requirement is consistent with this most recent CDC guidance. Travelers should stay up to date with any changes to these requirements by checking the TSA and CDC websites prior to their trip.
Passengers who refuse to wear a face mask will not be permitted to enter the secure area of the airport, which includes the terminal and gate area. Fines for violations will remain in place, starting at $250 and increasing to $1,500 for repeat offenders. Exemptions for travelers under the age of two and those with certain disabilities will continue.