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TSA to fine passengers who won't comply with federal mask mandate

TSA will begin mask enforcement on Tuesday through May 11 in conjunction with Biden's executive order.

TSA employee checks passengers identity at O'Hare International Airport
TSA employee checks passenger identity at O'Hare International Airport
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Updated: February 1, 2021 - 2:32pm

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The Transportation Safety Administration is getting into the effort of enforcing the Biden administration's order that any on federal property for using public transportation in the U.S. must wear a COVID19 mask.

TSA officials have been instructed to fine passengers for not complying with the new order.

Previously, the only main enforcers of mask mandates at airports were airline employees at gates and on planes.

Now, the TSA has been authorized to deny entry or boarding to those who refuse to wear a mask, and they could also be subject to a fine. 

“Depending on the circumstance, those who refuse a mask may be subject to a civil penalty for attempting to circumvent screening requirements, interfering with screening personnel, or a combination of those offenses,” TSA said in a statement on Sunday.

The enforcement by TSA will begin on Tuesday and will run through May 11.

Although they will require a snug-fitting mask above the nose and mouth for the safety of passengers, TSA will continue to ask passengers to lower their face covering  to verify their identity. 

The announcement follows Biden's executive order Jan. 21 that requires all federal agencies to take action to mandate the use of masks.

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