TSA mask mandate extends into 2022

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Anyone using business travel since February 1, 2021 has been required to wear a mask due to the Transport Safety Administration (TSA) mask mandate. The mandate is now valid until 18 January 2022.

What is the TSA Mask Mandate?

The TSA Mask Mandate requiring passengers to wear a qualified face mask during commercial travel originally entered into force on 1 February 2021 with an original expiration date of 11 May 2021.

However, the authorities issued the first extension until September 13, 2021. As the Delta variant continues to spread across the United States, the mask mandate now expires provisionally on January 18, 2022.

The TSA announced the most recent extension on August 17, 2021. If the health situation does not improve, it is likely that the mask mandate will extend further into 2022.

Who should wear a mask when traveling?

This policy applies to passengers and crew members on commercial transport vehicles and in public transport hubs. The mandate stems from an executive order from January 2021 from the Biden administration.

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For example, the mandate requires that one wear a mask for any commercial transportation within, departing from, or arriving in the United States.

Some of the places where masks are mandatory include:

  • Fly
  • Train
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Ships and ferries
  • Airports
  • Railway stations
  • Bus terminals
  • Ports

Prior to the TSA mandate, individual airlines and travel agents had their own mandates. The federal mandate replaces the flight mask mandates, and non-compliance can result in fines and legal sanctions.

Additional travel needs

Along with wearing a mask on commercial transit in the United States, there are several other travel guidelines that international travelers must adhere to.

Mandatory re-test

Persons flying to the United States from any international destination must obtain a negative coronavirus test result no later than 72 hours prior to arrival. In many popular tourist destinations, on-site test sites are available at hotels and resorts.

This test requirement applies to U.S. citizens and international visitors.

Evidence of vaccination

An increasing number of countries require guests to be fully vaccinated to enter the country without self-quarantine.

Some of the countries include:

  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Turks and caicos
  • The United Kingdom

As more countries introduce vaccination mandates, it may not be possible to waive quarantine with a pre-arrival diagnostic test if you have been vaccinated or partially vaccinated.

However, some countries with strict entry requirements require a negative test before arrival and proof of vaccination.

Summary

It appears that the federal mask mandate will continue for the foreseeable future as the number of cases and hospitalizations remains at current levels. Currently, the CDC recommends following the various federal and local health guidelines plus keeping non-essential travel to a minimum.

Related articles:

  • Updating Delta Variant Travel Restrictions
  • Do you need to show proof of vaccination to fly?
  • August Covid Travel Restrictions and Updates

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