TSA extends face mask requirement

FILE - Travelers check in with TSA at O'Hare International Airport on Nov. 25, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending the face mask requirement at airports, on commercial aircraft, on buses, and on trains through September 13. 

TSA’s initial face mask requirement went into effect on February 1 with an expiration date of May 11. 

The CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated travelers with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the U.S., but the CDC guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

The TSA encourages 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.

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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.


Penalties for not following the mask rules start at $250 and rises to $1,500 for repeat offenders.

The TSA screening officer at the travel document checker (TDC) station will request that travelers temporarily lower their face mask to verify their identity. Those who approach the TDC without a face mask will be asked to obtain one to proceed. Passengers who refuse to wear a face mask will not be permitted to enter the secure area of the airport, which includes the terminal and gate area.

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