Travelers who violate the federal transportation face mask mandate could receive fines ranging from $250 to as much as $1500 for repeat offenders, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced in an update on Friday.
This press release from the TSA also noted that “substantial aggravating or mitigating factors” may result in a recommended fine “outside these ranges.”
The TSA first announced the implementation of its mask requirement on Sunday in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order targeting COVID-19 protocols in domestic and international travel. (RELATED: DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO DROP $230 MILLION ON FIRST EVER AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST)
Part of the order includes the requirement for travelers to wear face masks in airports, bus and train stations, and on all other forms of public transportation.
“TSA has provided transportation system operators specific guidance on how to report violations so that TSA may issue penalties to those who refuse to wear a face mask,” the TSA update read.
News update: @TSA will recommend fines from $250 & up to $1,500 for repeat offenders for non-compliance with federal mask mandate Guidance has been given to transportation operators how to report violations so TSA may issue penalties to those who refuse to wear face mask #MaskUp https://t.co/MxLfImIuCx
— TSA_SouthWest (@Tsa_SouthWest) February 5, 2021
These penalties may come in addition to those already imposed by transportation operators, as many airlines, for example, have taken the initiative by issuing their own directives making it a requirement for passengers to wear face masks. Delta Air Lines has already banned nearly 1,000 passengers for violating its mask rule, according to CNN.
“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,” Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye, said.
Regarding COVID-19 restrictions and air-travel, it was reported that the Biden administration was also “actively looking” into requiring COVID-19 tests for passengers on domestic flights, though no official measures have been taken on this front yet.
The current TSA mask mandate, which took effect Feb. 2, will expire on May 11, 2021.