United States president Joe Biden’s signed an executive order last month to promote safety across domestic and international travel by requiring travelers to wear face masks across their journey including at airports and aircraft. Following this, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shared that it will issue fines for those that don’t wear masks at airport security checkpoints and throughout the transportation network.

Clamping down

According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, TSA is suggesting a fine ranging from $250 for the first offense. After that, repeat offenders will have to pay up to $1,500. Moreover, depending on the circumstances, the agency may implement penalties that fall out of these ranges.

Currently, TSA requires travelers to wear a mask at its airport screening checkpoints and throughout the commercial and public transportation systems. This will be a requirement until at least May 11th.

Necessary action

Darby LaJoye, the senior official performing the duties of the TSA Administrator, spoke about the measures. Overall, the group is keen to assist in preventing the spread of the virus amid the pandemic.

“TSA will fully comply with the President’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance and the DHS National Emergency determination to ensure healthy and secure travel across all transportation sectors,” LaJoye said, as per the press release.

This will help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and encourage a unified government response,”

LaJoye added that her organization has a focus to adhere to these measures as society continues to experience the impact of the pandemic. She concludes that this commitment is in support of the TSA workforce, stakeholders, and passengers.

An industry-wide policy

TSA notes that the federal face mask conditions include domestic services. These requirements are for both passengers and crew members. Travelers not wearing a mask may be denied entry or boarding. Ultimately, they may not be able to continue their journey.

Officials have been eager to address issues revolving around masks. Even before Biden’s mandate, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson approved an order to fine unruly passengers or those who assault, threaten, and intimidate crew members. These fines can reach up to $35,000 and be introduced as a result of staff fearing for their safety amid tensions surrounding passenger refusal to wear masks.

Altogether, authorities and aviation bodies appear to be on the same page regarding this topic. TSA emphasizes that those who fail to comply with the requirements can face civil penalties.

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