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Fines Doubled for Public Transportation Mask Violations

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it is doubling fines for passengers who refuse to wear a facemask in public airports and planes. If you are caught without your mask in an airport or on a plane, you can expect to be fined $500 to $1,000 for a first offense. If you get caught again, that second fine can be up to $3,000.

The White House announced that the government was imposing these higher fines to “ensure that masking requirements remain in place on the other modes of transportation as we continue to battle COVID-19.” Other modes of transportation include public buses and transportation systems. President Biden told reporters, “TSA will double the fines on travelers that refuse to mask. If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the way, show some respect.”

Biden has been critical of the anger shown by some passengers when airline staff members sought to enforce mask requirements. Many are flight attendants have been confronted with physical violence. That can bring another hefty fine if you assault a flight attendant. “It’s wrong. It’s ugly,” Biden said.

In August, TSA announced that requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses, and at airports and train stations, would continue through January 18, 2022 in an effort o reduce the spread of the Covid infection.

“By doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. TSA officials reported that over 4,000 incidents have been documented in which passengers steadfastly refused to wear face masks. The original fine, set in January 2021, was a mere $250 for first time offenders. That obviously didn’t work.