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TSA to begin enforcing face covering requirement at airports, transportation hubs starting Tuesday

TSA coronavirus protections
Posted at 8:59 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 10:01:02-05

The Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday will begin requiring all travelers over the age of 2 to wear face coverings during interstate travel and in major transportation hubs on Tuesday.

The requirement, which will remain in place until May 11, comes after President Joe Biden signed an executive order last month putting the rule in place.

“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. This will help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and encourage a unified government response,” said Darby LaJoye, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator, in a press release. “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.”

Beginning Tuesday travelers will be required to wear a mask while moving through security at U.S. airports. Anyone without a mask will be asked to put one on before proceeding.

Travelers may be asked to lower their masks briefly so officers can verify their identities at various points through the security process.

The mask mandate applies in airports, airplanes with inbound flights to U.S. ports of entry and surface transportation modes like bus stations and train stations.

The TSA said passengers who refuse to wear masks may be "denied entry, boarding, or continued transport." Continued failure to comply could result in "civil penalties."

TSA Cares can provide assistance to passengers with disabilities or medical conditions. Passengers are asked to call the helpline 72 hours prior to traveling: 855-787-2227.

For more information about the TSA mask requirement, click here.

This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering