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TSA Reminds Flyers: Wear Face Coverings or Face Consequences

TSA Precheck

As the Transportation Security Administration is preparing for the return of summer travel, the agency is reminding flyers to wear their face mask as they pass through the checkpoint. Face coverings are still required aboard commercial aircraft, regardless of vaccination status.

While the Transportation Security Administration says they are prepared for a potentially busy summer travel season, the agency is also reminding flyers to keep their face coverings on as they take to the skies. In a speech, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and senior official performing the duties of the TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye reminded the flying public they are still required to wear a face covering at the airport and aboard aircraft.

TSA Recommends Coming Early and Wearing a Face Covering

As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed across the country, many states are rolling back face mask requirements in public. However, the national face mask mandate on public transportation still stands. This is creating an increasing amount of trouble aboard commercial aircraft, as the Federal Aviation Administration says they have received around 1,900 reports of flyers refusing to wear a face covering aboard flights.

The TSA is reminding flyers that even if they have been vaccinated, they are still required to wear a face covering from when they arrive at the airport, to when they leave at their destination. On the ground, the agency says there has been “near-total voluntary compliance among the entire transport system.”

“For those passengers returning to travel for the first time since 2019, be aware that some processes at the checkpoint have changed and some, like removing your shoes, remain in place,” said LaJoye. “Additionally, during high volume months, travelers should plan to arrive early at the airport to complete the airport screening process and arrive timely at their departure gate.”

The TSA is also rolling out new technologies to help screening go faster and easier for everyone. The agency has deployed over 500 credential automation technology (CAT) units to 88 airports, allowing flyers to scan their own ID and ticket to verify themselves without handing their items to a TSA official. In addition, the TSA has issued 323 CT luggage scanners to 141 airports, allowing agents to take a 3D look into a bag without opening it for further inspection. Those traveling through an airport with a CT scanner will not need to remove their laptops or 3-1-1 liquid bags.

Over Two Million Americans Expected at the Airport for Memorial Day

With travel around the world slowly reopening, Memorial Day could only be the start of a very crowded 2021 at the airport. AAA estimates over the Memorial Day weekend alone, 2.5 million Americans are expected to fly, a rise of 577 percent compared to 2020.

JG_Aus June 8, 2021

It should be a long time before people are allowed to fly without face masks. I don't like it either, but it's a simple, safe and effective precaution. I hope that they make certain that those who don't comply are met by security at the other end. Would prefer to see them placed on temporary airline "no fly" lists. If they can't follow simple rules they can drive.

MRM June 3, 2021

@craig44485: Probably when people around this country and then the world are vaccinated at high enough levels that constant transmission/infection isn't a threat in a flying tube at 20K feet.

BMGRAHAM June 3, 2021

You should not have to wear a mask if you are vaccinated. The CDC not TSA sets the medical standards for this country.

craig44485 June 1, 2021

"Both the CDC and TSA rules note that those who do not wear a face mask are subject to civil penalties, as well as other actions from their carriers. This includes being denied entry, boarding, or continued transport." That was the initial mandate, but now, CDC is saying people who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a face mask. When will these 2 agencies get on the same page?

catocony May 29, 2021

"Come early". Yeah, TSA, where travelers pay a large sum in fees and taxes to have their time wasted and dignity taken.