US doubling fines for travellers not wearing masks

Last month, TSA extended requirements for travellers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through Jan 18 to address ongoing COVID-19 risks. The regulations had been set to expire Sep 13. TSA Administrator David Pekoske said “by doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence”.

TSA said that operators throughout the transportation network have reported more than 4,000 face mask-related incidents. To date, almost 4,000 warning notices have been sent and 126 have been referred for civil penalty. TSA said in January that first-time incidents would start at US£250 for failing to wear masks.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued much higher fines for not wearing masks on airplanes and for other disruptive behaviour.

The FAA has proposed penalties totalling more than US£1 million, including many US£9,000 fines for not wearing masks on airplanes.