US keeps in place mask requirement on planes, transit

The U.S. is keeping in place a requirement that people wear masks on planes and all other forms of public transit because of COVID-19

The mandate, which went into effect Feb. 1, was set to expire May 11.

Darby Lajoye, the acting TSA administrator, said in announcing the extension that masks “remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic” even though about half of U.S. adults have received a vaccine.

The rule requires people to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 across all transportation networks in the U.S. That includes at airports, on buses and on trains. People under 2 and with certain disabilities are exempt.

Penalties for violating the rule start at $250 and can go up to $1,500 for repeat offenders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that fully vaccinated people can travel but its guidelines still require the use of masks, social distancing and other measures to prevent the virus.

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