LANSING, Michigan Feb 4 2020The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has declared a national emergency to control the spread of COVID-19 among travelers.
President Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 21 to make masks mandatory for travelers. Sunday’s DHS emergency declaration allows the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement that rule. Starting this Tuesday, masks will be required in airports, on commercial planes, trains, ferries, intercity bus services, and all forms of public transportation for both passengers and crew. The requirement will remain in effect until May 11.
Passengers without a mask may be denied entry, boarding, or continued transport. Failure to comply with the mask requirement can result in civil penalties.
“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. “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.”
Exemptions include travelers under the age of 2 years old, those with a disability who cannot wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and those for whom a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.
More information on face mask requirements can be found on the TSA website.