TSA Doubles Penalty For Violating Airplane Mask Mandates

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Transportation Security Administration announced Thursday it will increase fines on Americans who do not comply with mask mandates in airports or airplanes.

Previously, the penalty for violating the mask mandate was a fine ranging from $250 for first-time offenders to $1,500 for repeat offenders. Beginning Friday, Sep. 10, the penalty will double to at least $500 for first offenders, up to a maximum of $1,000, and to a range of $1,000 to $3,000 for additional offenses, the agency said in a press release.

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

The federal mask mandate for travel is set to last until at least Jan. 18, 2022, and also applies to some forms of surface transportation such as passenger trains and intercity bus transit. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Biden Said ‘I Wouldn’t Demand [Vaccines] To Be Mandatory’)

The announcement of the harsher penalties came the same day that President Joe Biden announced his administration will use the Department of Labor to mandate either vaccines or weekly COVID-19 testing for employees at any businesses with at least 100 workers.