Masks still required for mass transportation even as states lift mandates, TSA reminds

Not so fast there, sonny.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding the public that face masks are still required for mass transportation in the U.S. as Texas and Mississippi lift their own coronavirus safety restrictions, including mask mandates.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein shared the message on Wednesday, referencing the executive order signed by President Joe Biden in January.

“So if you choose to travel, TSA reminds you to please continue to wear your mask,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tweeted on Wednesday.
(iStock)

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“TSA REMINDER: The Federal mask mandate remains in effect in transportation systems (including airports, mass transit and passenger rail), even in states that have lifted their local mask mandates,” Farbstein wrote. “So if you choose to travel, TSA reminds you to please continue to wear your mask.”

The TSA representative also shared a graphic illustrating the correct way to wear a face mask, with the PPE lifted well over the nose and covering the mouth.

As it currently stands, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires travelers to wear the PPE when “boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel” across mass transit system in the U.S., per the Department of Transportation.

The mandate applies to airplanes, trains, ridesharing and seafaring vessels, as well as transit hubs like airports, bus terminals, marinas, seaports, subway stations, train terminals and stations. Face masks are also required at any U.S. port of entry, or any other site that provides transportation.

When reached for comment on Thursday morning, a spokesperson for the TSA reiterated that the president’s executive order, the CDC’s emergency order and the Department of Homeland Security’s national emergency determination, as well as TSA security directives and emergency amendment still require the use of face masks on all modes of public transit – by air, bus and rail.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently requires travelers to wear the PPE when "boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel" across mass transit system in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently requires travelers to wear the PPE when “boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel” across mass transit system in the U.S.
(iStock)

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As of Feb. 2, the TSA is requiring individuals to wear masks at security screening checkpoints across the U.S. and through commercial and public transit systems. This requisite is effective until May 11.

“TSA will fully comply with the President’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance and the DHS National Emergency determination to ensure healthy and secure travel across all transportation sectors. This will help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and encourage a unified government response,” Darby LaJoye, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator, said in a statement shared with Fox News.

“As we continue to experience impacts from this pandemic, we are committed to this measure as the right thing to do for the TSA workforce, for our industry stakeholders and for passengers.”  

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration updated its Safety Alert for Operators guidance, urging airlines to continue requiring passengers to wear face masks in the high skies.

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have cited lower coronavirus case counts and an increase in vaccine accessibility as justification to revoke all state-imposed coronavirus regulations. Mississippi lifted the restrictions on March 3, with Texas set to follow on March 10.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.