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Officials: Mask mandate remains in effect at airports, public transportation

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Posted at 11:43 AM, May 15, 2021

Officials are reminding the public that the current mask mandate for air travelers and those who use public transportation remains in effect.

In a statement Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation said face masks are still required while on planes, buses, trains and other forms of transportation into, within or out of the United States.

Officials are reminding the public of the mask mandate as the CDC announced Thursday that it's easing its indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

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The CDC said the guidance is clear that fully vaccinated people are safe to travel and can resume travel as the pandemic continues.

The federal government issued the mask order on February 1, 2021, that requires masks that cover both the mouth and nose for passengers, visitors and employees in airport terminals, on commercial flights and on airport buses.

TSA said the mask mandate, which was intended to expire on May 11, has been extended through September 13.

“The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” said Darby LaJoye, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator. “Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far.”

A penalty fine was placed for those who violate the face mask requirement which starts at $250 and rises to $1,500 for repeat offenders.