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Face Mask Security Directive at Airports

Contact: Brad Christopher, Assistant Director of Airports |

​On Sunday, January 31, the TSA issued a Security Directive to airport operators, aircraft operators and ground transportation providers. The directive is intended to implement the CDC mask order in accordance with the Executive Order on promoting COVID-19 safety in domestic and international travel. The directive became effective at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2021.

According to the directive, Federal law requires wearing a mask at all times in and on airport grounds, and failure to comply may result in removal and denial of re-entry. This includes the terminal, rental car customer service center and onboard the aircraft. Refusing to wear a mask in or on the airport is a violation of federal law and individuals who don’t comply with the directive may be subject to penalties under federal law and removal from the facility.

The directive includes three exemptions:

  • Children under the age of two.
  • People with disabilities who cannot wear a mask or who cannot safely wear a mask because of the disability as defined by the American with Disabilities Act.
  • People for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal requirements.
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