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Do not take off your face mask just yet

President Biden signs executive order mandating masks on airline flights
face masks

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States.

  1. The initial TSA face mask requirement went into effect on February 1 with an expiration date of May 11.
  2. The face mask extension requires face masks at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems through September 13, 2021.
  3. CDC guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

“The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” said 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.”

The CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated travelers with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the U.S., but the CDC guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. The extension of the face mask requirement is consistent with this most recent CDC guidance. 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.