A federal mask mandate for passengers on public transportation will remain in place through Sept. 13, the Transportation Security Administration said on Friday.
The mask requirement applies to travelers on all transportation networks throughout the United States, including airports, buses, trains and commercial flights. Prior to the extension, an existing mandate was scheduled to expire on May 11.
“The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” said Darby LaJoye, the acting TSA Administrator. “Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot, and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic.”
“We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far,” LaJoye added.
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The TSA’s mask requirement for public transportation originally took effect on Feb. 1. The order followed guidance from the Biden administration and the CDC.
Violations of the TSA mask requirement are punishable by fines ranging from $250 to $1,500.
The extension was announced days after the CDC loosened some guidelines on mask-wearing. Officials said Americans who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks outdoors unless they are in a large crowd.