The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a federal mask requirement for transit systems to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 based on President Joseph R. Biden’s Executive Order 13998, issued January 21, 2021. The Transportation Security Administration soon followed with a security directive implementing the CDC order.
Science-based measures are critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Mask-wearing is one of several proven life-saving measures, including physical distancing, appropriate ventilation, vaccination and timely testing, that can reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Requiring masks will protect America’s transit workers and passengers and help control the transmission of COVID-19.
TSA has extended the face mask requirement for all transportation networks, including public transportation, through March 18, 2022. TSA’s initial face mask requirement went into effect on February 1, 2021, with an initial expiration date of May 11, 2021. It was first extended through September 13, 2021, and then to January 18, 2022.
While this announcement extends the date of enforcement, all other aspects of the requirement remain unchanged, including exemptions and civil penalties. TSA also issued a statement on the face mask extension.