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Masks Will Be Mandatory On All Planes And Trains Until At Least March

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Officials say that the U.S. mask mandate for public transportation, which expires in January 2022, will be extended again until mid-March.

The U.S. Is Extending The Mask Mandate On Public Transportation Until March

U.S. Mask Mandate Extended Until Mid-March

According to Reuters, Joe Biden’s administration will extend the requirement for travelers to wear masks on public transportation in the U.S. through mid-March.

The current TSA mask mandate on public transport was due to expire on January 18th, but amid concerns about the new Covid-19 variant, it is not surprising to see the mandate extended again.

women wearing mask in train

The current mask mandate applies to all public transport, including:

  • Air travel
  • Trains 
  • Ride-shares 
  • Ferries 
  • Trolleys 
  • Cable cars
  • Taxis 
  • Subways 
  • Public conveyances 

The mandate also applies to transportation hubs such as airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, and seaports.

The mask mandate will be in force regardless of someone’s vaccination status. 

traveler in airport wearing mask

Earlier this month, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said:

“Wearing a mask protects the traveling public and all of the personnel who make the travel experience safe, secure, and comfortable.”

Mayorkas also added, “We will continue to enforce the mask mandate as long as necessary to protect public health and safety.”

According to sources, a formal announcement extending the requirements through March 18th is expected today, December 2nd, when Biden announces his strategy for fighting Covid-19 in the U.S. this winter.

women walking with baby in airport wearing mask

During the announcement, he is also expected to confirm the shortened testing window for international arrivals in the U.S.

Earlier this week, Whitehouse officials and the CDC confirmed they are working to impose stricter Covid-19 testing rules for air travelers entering the U.S. amid concerns about the Omicron variant, which has now been detected in the country.

Currently, vaccinated travelers can present a negative test result obtained within three days from their point of departure, but the new rules would require travelers to get a negative Covid-19 test 24 hours before, shortening the window by two days.

Some Airlines Have Banned Cloth Masks

Some international airlines have also banned cloth masks, including Finnair, Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, and Croatia Airlines. Most of these airlines are asking for FFP2, KN95, N95 standard, or surgical masks instead.

Mask airplane woman

Travelers should check each airline’s requirements before heading to the airport to avoid being denied boarding.

Masks Have Been An Issue With Air Passengers In The U.S.

The mask requirements have been a source of problems in the U.S., especially aboard airlines, where some travelers have refused to wear them.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Tuesday that since January 1st, it had received reports from airlines of 3,923 passengers refusing to wear masks.

women wearing mask in airplane

In September, the  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) doubled the fines for all mask mandate violators. The penalties are as follows: 

  • First Offense-$500-$1,000
  • Second Offense-$1,000-$3,000

The federal mask mandate-related penalties imposed by the TSA differ from the civil penalties issued by the Federal Aviation Administration for persons that engage in unruly and unsafe behavior, which has been a growing problem.

Traveler-Wearing-Mask

While passengers refusing to comply with the mask mandate account for a significant proportion of these incidents, there have also been more serious infringements, such as physically and verbally assaulting airline staff.

Over $1 Million in fines have been issued by the FAA so far, and unruly passengers may even be added to the U.S. ‘no-fly’ list.

The FAA said they have instituted a “zero tolerance” enforcement effort on unruly passengers.


Read more:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

Canada Adds Testing And Quarantine For International Arrivals

20+ Countries That Have Enacted New Travel Restrictions Due To Omicron

This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

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Liberty

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Hint: it's going to be extended indefinitely.

Ricko

Friday 3rd of December 2021

@Liberty, thank you so much for your existence. your comments on the posts here reaffirm my belief in humanity. 😂 hope you are positioned in a environment of like-minded people. you deserve every bit of it.

covidvaxinfo

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

@Liberty, i wouldn't count on that. The end may be nigh for the airplane mask mandate...