The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it will recommend fines ranging from $250 to $1,500 for people who do not abide by the new transportation mask order issued by President Joe Biden on his second day in office.
The agency said it could also “seek a sanction amount that falls outside these ranges,” and noted in the announcement that the higher fines would apply to repeat offenders.
Biden’s order requires people to wear masks in airports, bus and train terminals and on trains, planes, buses and public transportation.
The TSA has been charged with implementing Biden’s executive order and subsequent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask-wearing rules that took affect Feb. 1 and built on the order.
Although the TSA is most commonly associated with airport checkpoints, fines will apply to offenders across those various transportation types. The agency said on Twitter that it has “provided transportation system operators specific guidance on how to report violations so that TSA may issue penalties to those who refuse to wear a face mask.”
The CDC order exempts children under 2 years of age and people with a disability that makes it unsafe to wear a mask. The CDC said transportation operators can require medical documentation.
Travelers will be allowed to remove masks while eating or drinking.
The CDC said some face coverings aren’t good enough to comply with the rule. The don’t-travel list includes face shields, bandanas, masks with exhalation valves and masks that are too big or otherwise don’t fit properly.
Biden, who said on his first day in office that “changing the course of the COVID crisis” is a top priority, also signed an order mandating masks on federal property.
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Contributing: The Associated Press