September 9, 2021 5:16pm
Updated: September 9, 2021 5:40pm
President Joe Biden's administration is taking a larger bite out of the wallets of those Americans who fail to wear a mask while on airplanes, trains and buses .
The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration announced Thursday it was doubling the previous mask mandate fines created in February, The new fines will start immediately on Friday, ranging from $500 to $1,000 for a first offense and growing to $1,000 to $3,000 for second violations.
The penalties are in effect until at least Jan. 18, officials said.
“Wearing a mask protects the traveling public and all of the personnel who make the travel experience safe, secure, and comfortable,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “We will continue to enforce the mask mandate as long as necessary to protect public health and safety.”
“We appreciate the majority of travelers each day who voluntarily follow the requirement, but find this action necessary to maximize the protections for those who use and work within the transportation system, and to contain COVID-19,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “By doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence.”
TSA will provide updated signage at airports regarding these increased civil penalties.