TSA Extends Face Mask Requirement
May 1, 2021
Masks required in airports and onboard commercial aircraft until September 13th
(Hanover Township, PA) – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States, including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems through September 13.
Please note: a mask is required at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) throughout the travel process. Failure to comply with this TSA Security Directive will result in the individual being escorted from the premises.
Statement from Darby LaJoye, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the 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.”
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.
While this announcement extends the date of enforcement, all other aspects of the requirement remain unchanged, including exemptions and civil penalties. 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 this face mask requirement.
Exemptions to the face mask requirement for travelers under the age of 2 years old and those with certain disabilities will continue.
The TSA screening officer at the travel document checker (TDC) station will request that travelers:
1) Temporarily lower their face mask to verify their identity.
2) Those who approach the TDC without a face mask will be asked to obtain one to proceed.
3) 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.
Travelers with questions regarding airport security screening procedures may send a message via Facebook or Twitter to @AskTSA for live assistance from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on weekdays or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on weekends/holidays.