WASHINGTON (WATE) — Amid COVID-19 vaccination rates continuing to climb, summer travel plans may be on the mind of many; however, masks will still be required for travelers in airports through September.
The Transportation Security Administration is extending the face mask requirement for people across all transportation networks throughout the United State including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft or airplanes, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems through Sept. 13, 2021.
The TSA’s initial mask requirement went into effect Feb. 1 and was scheduled to end May 11.
The TSA cited the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which still require individuals traveling in the U.S. on airplanes or buses to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
The extension of the mask requirement is consistent with this most recent CDC guidance, according to TSA.
For safety, the TSA is encouraging all commuters and airline and bus travelers, including people considering international travel, to stay up-to-date with any changes to these requirements by checking the TSA and CDC websites prior to taking their trip.
While this announcement extends the date of enforcement, all other aspects of the requirement remain unchanged, including exemptions and civil penalties. Exemptions to the face mask requirement for travelers under the age of 2 years old and those with certain disabilities will continue.
The existing civil penalty fine structure will also remain in place which starts at $250 and rises to $1,500 for repeat offenders who violate the requirement.