Feds Raise Fines for Violating Mask Mandate on Public Transit: Reinforce Importance of Voluntary Adherence

In this Nov. 16, 2020, file photo, a runner passes by a window displaying portraits of people wearing face coverings to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Lewiston, Maine. A deadly rise in COVID-19 infections is forcing state and local officials to adjust their blueprints for fighting a …
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

The Biden administration is doubling down on its federal mask mandate by increasing the fine for violations on public transportation. The rule applies at airports, on commercial aircraft, trains, buses, and other forms of public transportation. First offenders will pay from $500 to $1,000 and second offenders will pay between $1,000 to $3,000.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the increase on Thursday and said the fees will be in effect from Friday until January 18, 2022.

DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas,” said in the announcement:

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

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