DHS to Increase Civil Penalties for Violations of the Federal Face Mask Requirement

DHS to Increase Civil Penalties for Violations of the Federal Face Mask Requirement

The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will increase the range of civil penalties that may be imposed on individuals who violate the federal mask mandate at airports, on commercial aircraft, and in various modes of surface transportation, including passenger railroads, intercity bus services, and other public transportation. The federal mask mandate for transportation, which was implemented by TSA on February 2, 2021, will remain in effect until January 18, 2022.

The new range of penalties, which take effect Friday, September 10, 2021, will be $500-$1000 for first offenders and $1000-$3000 for second offenders.

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

“We appreciate the majority of travelers each day who voluntarily follow the requirement, but find this action necessary to maximize

the protections for those who use and work within the transportation system, and to contain COVID-19,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “By doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence.”

TSA will provide updated signage at airports regarding these increased civil penalties. For more information about the federal face mask requirement, visit the TSA Coronavirus webpage.

These federal mask mandate-related civil penalties are separate from the civil penalties the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues for individuals who engage in unruly and unsafe behavior.

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